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Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular Mass Market Paperback – August, 1985
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Five years later, to coincide with the imminent release of Ghostbusters II, the was novelized again by a new author. Richard Mueller works with the original screenplay before the post-production re-ordering that changed the flow of the middle section of the movie. The Fort Detmerring sequence that you've all heard about is presented here in the novel, but nothing really happens and it still doesn't fix the chronology errors in which Winston proclaims to have worked for the company for a couple of weeks but clearly has only been with them for a few days (or, even worse, just one day in the movie). Mueller also makes strange description choices such as calling the stick of the proton pack an 'induction rifle'. Venkman called it a 'positron flyer' in the movie. He censors all of the mild swearing from the movie also, but strangely doesn't seem to mind referring to sexuality and porno movie theatres. If he was toning down the language to make it suitable for kids I imagine he only led to a lot of awkward questions back in 1989 with kids asking their parents what porno is.
The story runs 250 pages, but only 223 of them contain text (there are 20 poorly printed black and white photos from the film interspersed non-chronologically, and seemingly randomly, through-out), and there are less words per page than Larry Milne's 1984 effort. So while it may seem like you are getting more story you're not getting any that makes a significant difference. The Fort Detmerring scene was detailed in Larry Milne's version and it is not expanded upon here.
The last act is very rushed and sort of fizzles out. It seems like Mueller grew closer to his deadline and quickly hashed out the ending without thinking about building to a climax.
You might have believed this to be the definitive Ghostbusters novel, but it's not. It barely edges past Larry Milne's version. The printing could have also been improved in many aspects, including a couple of bizarre errors (Venkman cryptically refers to the character of Jennifer as 'Brenda' - there are no Brendas in the movie or novel).
If Ghostbusters is ever going to be novelized correctly we're going to have to wait for a 3rd version. Perhaps with the long-postponed 3rd movie?
Most recent customer reviews
A highly original blast of a story is Ghostbusters, and the novelisation of the same is pretty decent.Read more