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The previous reviewer was talking about another edition of this novel--one that she had checked out of the library several years back--NOT the book at hand. She's right that the story is a bit dusty, the writing clunky--but at the same time, it's a rip-snorting, page-turning adventure yarn about "the eighth wonder of the world." It's a look back at entertainment from another time (70 years back, actually), and though it may be a tad creaky (like the original SHADOW or DOC SAVAGE stories), it's still a lot of fun. We're not talking Literature here, but Lovelace did a good job of turning Merian Cooper's and Edgar Wallace's screenplay into an enjoyable romp of a book. Joe DeVito and Brad Strickland have done a great job of revising the story and smoothing out the rough spots in a book from another publisher (you can find it on Amazon, too), but the original still has a lot of charm and magic all its own. Skull Island is full of mystery and wonder and dinosaurs and heroes and a plucky heroine and one humungous gorilla: what more could a young reader ask for?
What sets this bargain-priced trade paper edition apart from other reprints is the outstanding full color art by Jon Foster, Frank Frazetta, Dave Stevens, and Ken Steacy. Four distinctly different artists contribute four unique interpretations of Kong. It's a keeper.
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A little known-fact about groundbreaking movies King Kong and Godzilla is that they were books first. Both followed the same advanced marketing strategy, and released novelizations based on the scripts a full year before the movies were released.
Published in 1932, "King Kong" was originally credited to creator Merian C. Cooper and partner Edgar Wallace, although it was later revealed that they had little to do with the novel. Cooper supplied the idea and screenplay while Wallace had actually died before being able to contribute anything, but still retains a credit. The true author, Delos Lovelace, was a friend of Cooper's and a minor writer who mainly scripted biographies and children's books.
Lovelace wrote a jungle adventure yarn in the classic pulp style. Working from Cooper's script, the book follows the intended film almost exactly, including the "lost scene" of the spider pit sequence with its styraccosaurus battle and various nasty monsters. The writing is quick and to the point, typical of era, and a lighting-fast read. The entire book can be read in a day or two. Lovelace keeps the action flowing and the blood pumping. Almost the entire book takes place on Skull Island, with the New York rampage taking up only the final chapter. The famous lines have been preserved from the film.
By no means is this a "classic" book, and if it wasn't for its connection to the famous film it would probably be lost to time.Read more ›