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Alien: The Official Movie Novelization Mass Market Paperback – April 15, 2014
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"Foster’s treatment of the source material has only enhanced my appreciation for this classic story." - Blogcritics
"The book was well written, it filled in a few gaps in the film that I didn’t know needed to be filled until I read them, and it put the film in a different context, which may color my next viewing. If you consider yourself a fan of the film, it’s worth checking out." - Top Hat Sasquatch
"A hell of a fun and terrifying read. It’s one I recommend to anyone who loves the film or a good old fashioned sci-fi romp through the hell in our stars." - Ravenous Monster
“In text form the primal dread conjured by its events and themes is as timeless as the cold and empty darkness from which it spreads. 9/10.” - Starburst
“The official novelization is a stroll-back to memory lane of sweat inducing horrors.” – Retrenders
"The official novelization is a stroll-back to memory lane of sweat inducing horrors." - Retrenders
“An open door to the ALIENS universe that offers the curious even more information about the dangerous world of the films.” – Suvudu
“Worthy to be on your shelf if you consider yourself a fan of the film.” – Retroist
"Manages to capture the emotion and terror of the film." - Geek Girl Project
"As timeless as the movie that spawned it" - Den of Geek
“a master class in technically accomplished writing, as Foster uses the tools of his trade to translate the sparse details of a script into a lush, horrifyingly detailed haunted spaceship tale, populated by characters you’ll feel for” - Barnes & Noble SFF blog
About the Author
Alan Dean Foster is the acclaimed author of movie tie-ins for Star Wars, Alien, Transformers. He was awarded the IAMTW Grand Master Scribe Award in 2008. A best-selling science-fiction and fantasy author in his own right; the popular Pip and Flinx novels and the Founding of the Commonwealth series.
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Naturally, the book is more based on the original screenplay rather than the final cut of the movie, and so there are many differences between the book and the movie because of this timing. And this isn't a bad thing - it provides an interesting glimpse into a lot of the early concept designs and story outlines rather than just what we saw in theaters. And in this case, some of the additions do make for some great scenes.
What really struck me is the colorful writing style Alan Dean Foster employed in crafting this novelization. There's a certain beauty to how he describes many of the early scenes that pains quite the vivid picture in one's imagination. To spend time describing the crew as dreamers as opposed to merely being asleep just shows his attention to such details and his desire to craft a particular reading experience that I really enjoyed.
In many ways, the book actually feels rather brief and part of me wishes things had been extended a bit. But that's the part of me speaking with the movie in mind and how it used the horror movie trope of long quiet scenes to really go and build tension. You can't quite convey as easily in a book without resulting in several pages of filler material that may end up feeling superfluous.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this novelization given how it still feels like a unique creative experience even though it largely tells a story that I know by heart. It's also rather light reading so expect to work your way through the book quite quickly, which is neither good nor bad in itself.
If you've read Alan Dean Foster before you should know what to expect: a precise and methodical tale, with good character development and great exposition. Reading this book is a glimpse of how much better novelizations used to be.
If you haven't seen the movie ALIEN, what in hell are you waiting for? This is one of the best, most epic horror/sci fi series of all time.
I saw it for the first time when it first came out in 1979. I was on a first date and my poor date probably still has scars on his arm from when I grabbed him (you know what scene it was if you've seen the movie). Plus, when I grabbed his arm, he spilled his Coke into his lap. Ah, first impressions. I have never been more surprised/shocked by a movie, before or since.
This novelization by author Alan Dean Foster is pretty true to the movie. I didn't feel as close to Ripley's character, played by Sigourney Weaver in the movie, in the book. She was always dynamite in that role. In the book she comes off a bit cold and whiny. But this book is still well worth reading. There are small details in it that weren't in the movie that clarified some of the movie for me.
So, if you haven't seen this movie - and have a strong stomach - buy it on DVD for your collection and watch it. And then follow up with this novel.
I'm off to read ALIENS now, based on movie two of the franchise and also written by Alan Dean Foster.
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Its so captivating and suspenseful. You can't lose with xenomorphs