I’ve never been a fan of novelizations. Mainly because I’ve never read one that was particularly good. I’ve always found them to be a bit pointless seeing as its basically the screenplay word for word with a little extra added detail. I’ve seen them as just being about making more money off a good film. But, after being so impressed by Christopher Nolan’slatest Batman movie, I decided to pick up a copy of the novelization, The Dark Knight Rises by Greg Cox. Yet, doing so only further illustrated my viewpoint of why novelizations are pretty much pointless.
The story is excellent, there’s no doubt about that. Its 100% the same story told in the film — the story that I felt was the strongest in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. And so despite the fact that Cox doesn’t do anything to further the story, Nolan’s work is good enough to where it doesn’t even matter. I was hoping that Cox would give the readers a little more backstory that couldn’t fit into the film’s 2 hr 45 min run time but was sadly disappointed.
The characters are strong; however, other than giving us a few obvious thoughts that the characters have, Cox doesn’t take advantage of the fact that a writer can do so much more with characters than a filmmaker can — in my opinion. I really had hoped that since Cox had such a great source to draw from that he could really expand on the character depth but sadly he doesn’t even try.
the writing itself is poor — very poor. I have never read anything by Cox before and probably won’t after reading this. Sure, its easy to read and easy to follow but that doesn’t excuse spelling errors and just downright poor writing. That being said, the dialogue — what was actually taken directly from the screenplay — was absolutely brilliant. Its almost comical to read the brilliant dialogue pieces next the ridiculously poor and simplistic narrative. The only comparison I could think of would be to have a high school student take a Shakespeare play and write it into a novel. It just doesn’t work.
You might notice that I actually gave this book a good score. That does not reflect on my opinion of the book itself. The story, characters, and dialogue are so brilliant that a “4” was the lowest score I could give it. The book itself really is totally unnecessary. So if you were thinking of trying this novelization out, pass and use the money to watch the film another time. Its a better use of your time and money.
Content: PG-13 for violence and some language and sensuality