Recently, I finished reading the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. The book is based on the original screenplay so it's relatively close to the movie. I should start out by saying I friggin loved this book. But, Indiana Jones has always been my all time favorite on screen hero, so I could be biased. However, I read through this book in only a week. I didn't want to put it down. Here's my review of the book. Note, there will be spoilers. But you should have seen this movie by now!
Let me start with the differences. There are a few and whenever they happened it always made my heart sink for just a moment. For example, after Marion and Indy decide to join forces, after her bar burns down, she tells Indy she's going with him. In the movie, it's one of my favorite lines. "I'm your god damned partner!" She yells, holding up the medallion. This line doesn't exist in the book. I know, trivial but I still miss it. Of course, Indy's famous line "It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage." Also doesn't exist in the book. Again, not that big of a deal. Just very iconic lines. The scene in which Indy takes the RPG and threatens to blow up the Ark is slightly different as well. In the movie, he's up on a cliff pointing down, threatening to blow it back to God. In the book, however, he gets right up in Belloc's face with the thing and threatens to kill them all. As you should already know, in the movie Belloc calls his bluff. It's a pivotal scene where we learn a lot about our favorite whip wielding hero. In the movie, he's jumped by German soldiers and forced to give up.
There's also some answers given in the book that aren't in the movie. For example, Indy knows not to open his eyes after they open the Ark. In the movie, he just shouts at Marion. Telling her to not look. But we're left wondering why and how he knows that. Before you say anything, I'm aware there's a deleted scene which explains this but since it's not actually in the movie, hush! The book includes the scene in which Indy has the medallion translated which warns to not look upon the contents of the Ark or die. Later on, Indy remembers this and tells Marion to shut her eyes. However, this next scene does not have a deleted scene and it's always been a question of mine. How did Indy get to the island in the first place? I'm aware he hitched a ride on the German submarine but how, exactly? Did he sneak around inside? Did he stand on top while they drove it above water to the destination? Well, it turns out, he ties himself to the periscope with his whip. The sub descends but leaves the periscope just out of the water, allowing Indy to ride to the island in peace. He even takes a nap!
Getting inside Indy's head is great. It brings a lot of the character to life in a different way from the movie. We learn a little bit more about him and he feels even more real. If you're a huge fan of Indiana Jones, like me, you will not be disappointed by this book. Definitely give it a read! Later this year I will be reading Temple of Doom and Last Crusade as well. So look out for my reviews for them as well.
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To cover up his search history, Evan Bond is a thriller/suspense author. As an outdoor enthusiast and horror lover, Evan Bond enjoys writing stories where the two come together. He lives in Florida with his wife and two sons.