- Hardcover: 188 pages
- Publisher: W W Norton & Company; 1st edition (October 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393012492
- ISBN-13: 978-0393012491
- Package Dimensions: 8 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 127 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nothing Lasts Forever Hardcover – October, 1979
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Novel That Inspired 'Die Hard' Returns to Print After 20 Years. Roderick Thorp's Nothing Lasts Forever was adapted into the iconic franchise's first film. Die Hard has returned, and not just to movie theaters. The book that inspired the original film is back in print after 20 years. Late author Roderick Thorp's Nothing Lasts Forever is being released in trade paperback and ebook by Graymalkin Media to mark the 25th anniversary of its original publication. The book was adapted into 1988's Die Hard. But before Bruce Willis brought New York cop John McClane to life, he was an idea scrawled in Thorp's notebook. (The cop is named Joe Leland in the novel.) The ebook includes copies of Thorp's notes, the first time they have been published. He wrote them while living in Laurel Canyon, his house overlooking a high-rise building on the Wilshire Corridor. (That building became the inspiration for the one taken over by terrorists in the book.) Just as there are no flashbacks, there are no shifts in point of view. Everything is told -- discovered from Leland's interior, Thorp wrote in his treatment for the novel. Before Willis ultimately took the role, a number of other stars turned it down. The first to pass was Frank Sinatra, who played Joe Leland in The Detective (1968), based on Thorp's novel of the same name. Other stars who declined to play the now iconic role included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Richard Gere, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson. 'Die Hard very closely follows the book, so reading Nothing Lasts Forever gives fans the chance to enjoy the thrill of the Die Hard story in more detail, experience the scenes that didn't make it into the film, and discover the novel's shocking ending' said Graymalkin Media Owner and CEO David Zindel. --The Hollywood Reporter, 2/23/2013 by Aaron Couch --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
High atop a Los Angeles skyscraper, an office Christmas party turns into a deadly cage-match between a lone New York City cop and a gang of international terrorists. Every action fan knows it could only be the explosive big-screen blockbuster Die Hard. But before Bruce Willis blew away audiences as unstoppable hero John McClane, author Roderick Thorp knocked out thriller readers with the bestseller that started it all.
A dozen heavily armed terrorists have taken hostages, issued demands, and promised bloodshed all according to plan. But they haven't counted on a death-defying, one-man cavalry with no shoes, no backup, and no intention of going down easily. As hot-headed cops swarm outside, and cold-blooded killers wield machine guns and rocket launchers inside, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between anti-hero and uber-villains. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight to the death. Ho ho ho! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The overall tone of the story is the most significant change. The novel is mostly a downer, with Leland frequently reminiscing about his dead wife and the mistakes of his past as he slowly grows more accustomed to dehumanizing and killing his enemies, who are young (and often female) German extremists using terrorism to fight corporate greed - not a ragtag band of thieves only pretending to be terrorists, as seen in the film. In the end, the central theme is that there are no true heroes here. Don't expect a happy ending where our stars ride away into the sunset to the tune of "Let It Snow"...
While it feels almost wrong that the movie pretty much wiped out the novel's grim message about violence and replaced it with bombastic action, I have to say I prefer the 80's action flick over the 70's hard-boiled detective story. Still, I think that (despite all the terrible novel-to-movie adaptations out there) most movies benefit from having a book to provide a narrative backbone. It's probably one reason the original Die Hard stands so far apart from its lackluster sequels.
Oh, and the book is a pretty good read too. Just wish it hadn't been so depressing. But if you like that kind of thing, which a lot of readers do, then it's worth checking out.
The heroes' guns vary--because of their time period. John McClane is armed with the Beretta 92-series 9mm pistol, then the new military pistol that was making its way into police service. At the time (1988) New York City cops still were armed with .38 revolvers--going 9mm in 1994 (with perhaps exceptions--but plain clothed police officers risked getting shot as a 'bad guy' for carrying non-issue guns). Joe Leland's Browning 9mm High Power (Model 1935) was THE 9mm pistol of the 1970's in gun savvy circles, and it is reasonable for a counter-terrorist consultant--Living in Troubled Lands: Beating the Terrorist Threat Overseas was published in 1981 and the author of that real-world antiterrorist manual recommended a 9mm pistol on page 108 for those "who will face a serious threat." In the mid-1970's that professional's 9mm pistol was the Browning High Power.
I've listed two differences--heroes' background and heroes' gun. There are more. I enjoy reading the 'novel that inspired the movie' and noting the differences. I purchased the Kindle edition because the paperback books are getting rare--and expensive. Kindle is useful because the print is more widely available and more convenient to read. Plus, the Kindle edition is delivered within seconds--the book takes at least a day or two. Roderick Thorp's novel inspired 'Die Hard.'
Next on my reading list: 58 Minutes, the novel that inspired "Die Harder."
Don't forget to get the movies, too!
Die Hard Collection (Die Hard / Die Hard 2: Die Harder / Die Hard with a Vengeance / Live Free or Die Hard) [Blu-ray]