King Kong
The Official Movie Novelisation

Author: Christopher Golden
Pocket Books
RRP £6.99
ISBN 1 4165 0259 9
Available 05 December 2005

Down on his luck, film maker, Carl Denham dreams of riches, riches he hopes to find on Skull Island. Skull Island is a mythic place known to many sailors but its whereabouts are shrouded in mystery, a mystery that Denham hopes he can uncover using a map that he has obtained. In order to make the film he brings along Jack Driscoll as script writer and Ann Darrow, a down and out actress as his star. Aboard the
Venture they sail to Skull Island and Kong...

Okay, I have to fess up to the fact that at the time of writing, the Peter Jackson film has yet to be released, so there goes a whole paragraph on how it differs from the movie. It is very different from the original 1933 movie, which I am watching, for the umpteenth time, whilst typing this. Hold on... just have to turn it down. Fay Wray has got to have the loudest scream on the planet. So, where were we, ah yes, not seen the new film...

The book pretty much follows the main thrust of the original film; pretty girl, big gorilla and of course the bizarre collection of dinosaurs. With the luxury of space it has the ability of getting inside the heads of the characters, which really is the raison d'Ítre of such books. Given that Kong is a great big gorilla, with as much grasp of the English language as your average chav, it's great to get inside the big guys head to understand a lot more regarding his personal motivation, especially when it come to his odd infatuation with Ann Darrow.

One of the things I did like was how well the movie adaptation flowed from The Island of the Skull prequel book, although written by two different writers. Thumbs up for the editors there.

So any good, well it depends on your age. If, like me, you're of an age to have seen the various incarnations of Kong on film, it may feel a little like treading over old ground. But if you have been blessed with the gift of youth, which I'm sure is just wasted on you, then there may be much here to spark your interest. Having felt up my own personal goose which indeed feels a little fatter I would guess that Christmas is scant days off and for the under twelve's who cannot get into see the film, this and the prequel may make good pressies. At least that way your kids can blag it to their mates and pretend that they've seen the movie.

Charles Packer

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