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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recently read: "King Kong"

King Kong (Modern Library Classics)

Yes, this is a "recently read" post, not a "recently viewed" post.  I picked up this printing of the Kong novelization a couple of years ago (inspired somewhat by the many "monkey" panels at various ArmadilloCons, along with some comments from Mark Finn about the book).

I was a bit surprised to see that a novelization existed, since I would have thought that the "art" form we think of as novelizations was a relatively recent phenomenon, but I found that they have been written since the 1920's at least.

There's really nothing unexpected here, since it tracks the movie very closely, but there are some interesting changes including:
There is no Chinese cook (Charlie), but instead the character is Lumpy (who we see in the Peter Jackson remake)
We see the "spider pit" sequence in the book (and again, got put into Jackson's movie)
The ship is Wanderer, instead of Venture.

The book is credited to  Delos Lovelace (Adapter) and Edgar Wallace & Merian Cooper (Authors).  There's a nice preface by Cooper biographer Mark Cotta Vaz, and an introduction by SF writer Greg Bear (who's book Dinosaur Summer has links to Kong).  Apparently there's a lot of debate upon how much input Edgar Wallace had on the story, with Cooper claiming later that the script was all his work.

It was an interesting read, and got me in the movie to watch the classic movie once again...

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