Alan Dean Foster is the acclaimed author of movie tie-ins for Star Wars, Alien and Transformers. He was awarded the IAMTW Grand Master Scribe Award in 2008. He is also a best-selling science fiction and fantasy author in his own right, including the popular Pip & Flinx novels and the Founding of the Commonwealth series.
©2014 Alan Dean Foster (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
Alien is one of the few novelisations that is as good as the source, delivering the story faithfully while fleshing out the characters just a little more. No unnecessary backstories or side plots, it complements the Scott film admirably, and is a cracking good read in its own right.
So why this particular narrator? I haven't the foggiest. A few chapters in and I'm regretting the purchase. The tempo is more appropriate to an uplifting comedy, the characters distinguished only by a half-remembered change in volume. Some narrators like the excellent Simon Vance affect a decent falsetto if needed or with Frank Muller, subtle accent and pitch changes to distinguish female and male characters. No such luck. If I didn't know better I'd venture the narrator is reading the book for the first time and not really getting the hang of the mood.
Overall I feel deflated. The narrator sounds very much like Sean Pertwee, who under any circumstances would be an ideal choice for the tale of the doomed crew. Yet instead of using that great voice to good effect it's as enticing as a shopping list of things that happened at school the other day, told in no particular order by a breathless twelve year old. Buyer beware
Whilst it can't hold a candle to the movie, this is still a decent effort. I think the main problem is the distinct lack of alien description. Nothing regards how it looks, moves or kills. Most of us have a clear mental vision of the alien, but if you don't, I'm not convinced the book leads the listener in the right direction.
Peter's accents are almost comical too, and you cant help but compare his phrasing to the movie and think to yourself, 'Ripley wouldn't say it like that'.
So, coming from someone who loves the alien series, a decent effort but didn't really get my pulse racing.
Yes, actually. There are some timely atmospheric sound effects in the background here and there, which I usually find annoying. But they work well here.
It's a great, creepy sci-fi tale in itself, but the novelisation differs somewhat from the movie. Alan Dean Foster was obviously asked to write it half-way through the 1979 film's production, and it is based on an early version of the movie script, as he seemingly has no idea what the movie's 'alien' is supposed to look like - he's very, very vague when he comes to describing it's appearance. There are also several scenes that differ a great deal from the movie version - there's no 'Space Jockey' in this, for example. Would be great to see an updated version of the tale, that ties in closer with the visuals of the movie and the final script. Hint, hint.
Ripley and Lambert - for the wrong reasons. When he puts on a female voice he sounds very, very camp. Brought a smile or two.
When the pace quickens in the last third, it all gets quite creepy and I had to put the bedroom light on.
Still very good, despite the above points I mentioned. Any chance of a 'Prometheus' audiobook, to complete the 'Alien saga' set?
I was totally transported into the story through vivid prose and so could you be - just so long as you've seen the movie once or twice. My imagination had to make one or two adjustments when the narrative departed from the screenplay but I was sucked in and thoroughly entertained.
I very much enjoyed this.. A much loved film now an audio book ... I listened through in one sitting. Not a terrifying as the movie but the added ability to hear the characters thoughts added a new dimension .. Would listen again
The film is so iconic and had such an impact for those of us of a certain age that the book was always going to struggle. Probably more enjoyable or scary for those who can enjoy the book as a stand alone project. I know this is heresy, particularly me being a Brit, but the the British narration was just too polite sounding. I think a good old common Yankee voice is required.
The movie is a classic in the sci-fi horror genre. The novel is well written and quite faithfully recreates the movie with many subtle differences. If you loved the movie, you'll love this. Peter Guinness is a great choice for the reader and does a great job of pacing the story nicely as well as being clear and comfortable on the ear.
Singer/performer from Canada living in the UK. I enjoy horror and paranormal fantasy books.
As a big fan of the Alien franchise, I really enjoyed this. It was just different enough from the film to keep it interesting and fresh for those of us who have seen the movie a thousand times, yet it stayed true to the characters, overall feel, and plot of the movie. I also liked how the Facehugger was described as Giger's original concept art as opposed to what was seen in the film.
I also liked Peter Guinness's narration. I know his style put other people off, but I found it fit quite well for the time that the film was released. While I wasn't quite sold on his Ripley, I did find his Parker and Ash quite believable.
Peter made it an immersive experince so it felt like you were living the fear just like the crew.
Yes I did, but I also didn't want it to end.
Awesome time listening to and remembering this story all at once. True to the iconic film with very little deviation from what I could recall. Just as exciting too. Wish all movies were given audio novelizations. Great way the experience new worlds while at work.
"Better than the movie."
If you liked the movie, the novel is just as good. Great pacing. The Xenomorph is not that vicious through.
"If you enjoyed the movie, you will enjoy this book"
I jumped at the chance to read it and was not disappointed!
From what I understand this was created from the movie. So, if you have seen the movie, you know what is going to happen. That does not take the terror out of the book though! It is still just as intense, maybe even more so, than the movie.
Getting to read how this all started and the ins and outs of the crew is what made this even more special. There are just not things that the movie tells you about. There is more in here about Ripley and a lot about the corporation behind all of the choices made.
I just rewatched the movie so I could really critique how closely these two are based. It is as if I was watching the movie. I realize that is the purpose but it still surprised me just how closely these two were. A lot more in the book than the movie, which is expected. So much background!
I love this! If you enjoyed the movie, you will enjoy this book. Outstanding novelization and the acting was incredible. I already have a voice for Ripley and the crew but the narration was spot on. Peter Guinness did a great job of bringing the terror out of the book and allowed me to feel as if I were really in this.
The production quality was also superb. I did not hear one misstep. I would have preferred a full production with this being a story that is so well known, but that does not take away from how good this was. Very well done!
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
"I named my cats Ripley & Newt"
It's been at least 25 years since I saw Alien & Aliens. I was fan enough to name my cats Ripley & Newt (RIP, you two). I just noticed this audiobook, saw the rave reviews & snapped it up. It's been my greatest audio disappointment ever, and I've listened to a lot of books between Audible & the public library.
The story begins with ~2 hours of communications about mechanical damage & repairs to the ship. Dialogue was cryptic & contributed little to the plot or character development.
About character development... there was little of it. The movie may not be suited to novelization. In the movie, much of the atmosphere and characterization would be hard to convey in writing because it took place visually, without much dialogue.
Poor choice of narrator... Most of the characters were street smart, lower middle-class American types. (Think of World War II movies showing interactions in a platoon of American soldiers.) An English accent just didn't work in the situation.
"In space 🚀 no one can hear you scream"
The first of series that's as scary as the movie 🎥. Only this time your listening and not seeing. I recommend this audiobook to all fans of this franchise
"Waaay better than the movie"
better than movie
I am confused as to why the gave a narrator with an English accent with such an obviously American crew of the Nostromo but ok
No I like to drag out good books
I love the Alien series. The original author Alan Dean Foster. I have seen all the movies 6 times.Why can't they make more like that? If anyone can recommend a series this good to me, please do !
"Ripley kicks alien butt!"
I love the movie and I love the audible book, which is the official movie novelization, so there are no surprises here if you are a fan of the movie. The audible book is just good solid writing and storytelling, which I found highly entertaining.
"Flattened by the performance"
Surely everyone has seen the film? So you know the characters. Well, they don't make it through this reading. The delivery is robbed of emotion and suspense. It's kind of like listening to the narration on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, not as much emotion as the book. It's hard to believe someone could have seen the film and then deliver such a downbeat and homogeneous reading. The characters were sort of recognizable.
Little has changed from the movie, but some things have. But just small things. If you demanded an example, avoiding spoilers... well a scene in the mess that was opto-hydraulic in the film is all printed circuit boards and wires in the book. Which is like going back to the steam age. It doesn't detract from the story.
It is interesting to have the internal dialogue from the characters. It adds to the story and makes up for some of what the delivery removed. With a different narrator this would be a five star experience, like the movie.
"Good but flawed"
No I would watch the movie instead. I will say there are a few scenes I liked better in the book over the movie.
I have been a fan of his books in the past but I must say this one disappointed me. He started to lose me with his rambling about dreams at the beginning and some of his choice of words felt like he had just bought a Thesaurus and needed to try it out. True I knew some of the words but there were a few that I had to guess at by what happened in the movie.
Also this is a small point but it annoyed me since they included a preview to Aliens with this book, I noticed that he changed the spear into the grapple gun she used in the movie.
"Excellent Story. Good Narration"
Alien is a great sci fi horror thriller. It requires a great narrator for audio book. I say, have another narrator have a shot
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.