Thursday, June 16, 2016

Star Trek 2009 Film Novel and Audio Book Tie In Review - Basement Book Club



Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement  Book Club…

Yeah it’s another ‘sub-series’ that may be sporadic and re-named constantly, but this one won’t have a video counter-part. I have a number books on my shelves… and people liked the spotlight I placed on Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse… I figure why not, try to make it a regular feature.

So the first book in this series, will be… the novelization of the 2009 Star Trek film. And Right off the bat on the cover, there is an interesting creative credits. The novel is by Alan Dean Foster, but it was written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, the duo who wrote the film.

This makes for a rather interesting conundrum, for A.D. Foster has the story credit for Star Trek The Motion Picture, and has done novelizations of the Animate Trek episodes back in the 70s in addition to novelizations for other franchises, including Star Wars, Alien Nation, The Alien Franchise and others… and on thing that is fairly consistent with the novelizations of films (and in some cases games) in that Foster seems to have a decent amount of creative freedom so that the book matches the source material, but doesn’t seem bland and uninspired, or at the least having a different version of the script to have some ‘fun’ with the story.

Which is not the case with the book version of the 2009 Star Trek film. This 274 book is a soulless, drab , uninteresting ‘cash in’… unlike the adaptations of earlier Trek films by other writers… this one is pretty much ‘word for word’, ‘detail for detail’ with everything happening in sequence with the film. You could pretty much use the book to make a remake of the movie, and for some that may be fine, but for me, I like novelizations that act as an alternate version of the source material, not something that is a carbon copy, in particular if the story isn’t all that good.

Yeah, you probably saw this coming… the 2009 Star Trek film isn’t a good story and the characters, out side of McCoy, aren’t likeable in the least. And sometimes with a novelization, a lot of that could be fixed a bit by having a slightly different perspective, but in this case, we don’t get that. With how badly the characters were portrayed on the screen… it’s exactly that same way in the book.

That's not to say that novelization isn't written well, A.D. Foster is certainly a great writer... but even he couldn't salvage the schlock he was given the task to put into book form. It would not surprise me in the least if J.J. Abrams (who wanted full control over the Star Trek franchise) said that his vision had to be represented verbatim in the book tie-in.

I also want to talk briefly about the  Audio Book tie-in… where you have Zachary Quinto reading the story… in an unabridged format… and oh boy… there is an ‘art’ to doing an audio book, and it’s very easy to get it wrong, With Quinto we get a very uninspired reading of just reciting what’s on the page in a monotone voice, and for an Audio Book, that’s the worst someone can do. The reader has to 'bring' the story to life, and considering the number of Star Trek Alumni who've done audio books over the years, Quinto's performance is the worst. Doesn't help that for whatever reason, Simon & Schuster didn't supply a 'backing track' to make this feel like a 'Star Trek' story the way the majority of the Audio Book's they have published did.

Of course these are just my opinions…

If you have read the novelization of the 2009 Star Trek film, or listen to the audio book, I’d love to hear you opinions on the subject.

Tomorrow is Friday which means, it’ll be This Week With The Superheroes!

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