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Ghostbusters: The Original Novelizations of Ghostbusters 1 and 2 Book Review

 By Paul Rudoff on May. 9, 2020 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Ghostbusters 2, Books
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Titan Books recently released Ghostbusters: The Original Novelizations of Ghostbusters 1 and 2 (formerly known as Ghostbusters: The Original Movie Novelizations Omnibus), and they were kind enough to send me a copy to review for all of you, dear Spookies. Let's take a closer look at it...

You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a book's cover :-) The cover image may look a little familiar to Ghostheads. That's because it's a reworking of my favorite image from the first film.

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As you can see from the side-by-side comparison, Titan isolated the guys from the background, moved Winston and Egon to the bottom, and added in the portions of Winston's left leg and Egon's crotch that were covered by Ray and Peter in the original image. The end result is a photo that is akin to a Ghostbusters version of the Ghostbusters II movie poster image.

Of course, you're not buying this book for the cover. You're buying it for what's inside. The 368-page paperback book, which is standard size, contains full reprints of the movie novelizations "Ghostbusters" by Richard Mueller (who later went on to write for The Real Ghostbusters and was interviewed in the Time-Life DVD box set) and "Ghostbusters II" by Ed Naha (who also wrote the cult classics Troll and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids). This is the first time that both stories have been reprinted in 30 years!

"Ghostbusters" runs from pages 5-181, and "Ghostbusters II" runs from pages 183-363. Both stories are based on earlier script drafts and include characters and scenarios that did not make it into the final cut of both films, along with extra stuff that expands upon the universe (and pads out the film scripts to novelization length). Think of these stories more as "what if" scenarios. For example, the two bums, Harlan Bojay and Robert Learned Coombs, who were portrayed by Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd in a deleted scene, feature heavily in "Ghostbusters", in between parts in the story. For a more detailed list of differences between the novelizations and the final films, check out the Ghostbusters Wiki.

The book looks to be an exact reprint of the text from the original two novels. (If you're a masochist and want to do a word-for-word comparison, go right ahead.) The key word there is "text". There are NO photos! Both of the original novels included movie photos, either along with the text, or in the back of the book. I actually would have been surprised if the photos were in this new book. Titan chose not to include the photos here, likely to keep the cost of the book down. I assume that there's an extra cost to licensing the photos from Sony, instead of just the story texts.

That's a minor complaint, really. Knowing Sony, even if Titan did pay for the photos, Sony would give them the new altered versions. So, it's probably for the best that they're not here. Also, Titan gave us a book that no one ever thought would happen! Were YOU expecting for the novelizations to be reprinted?!? I certainly wasn't. Now if only someone would do a deluxe all-color reprint of Making Ghostbusters :-)

The paperback version of Ghostbusters: The Original Novelizations of Ghostbusters 1 & 2 carries a list price of $9.99 ($13.50 in Canada), but you can always find it a little cheaper at Amazon. If you're the type who thinks that print is dead, there's also a Kindle version.

If you don't own the original editions, and you want a "reading copy", this is a MUCH better option than getting a used copy of the original editions, which are currently going for $50 on the LOW end for Ghostbusters ($100 for the second printing), and $8 for Ghostbusters II. It's much better to put the "wear and tear" on this new book instead of one of the originals, which are best kept as "collectibles" now :-)

This item was provided by Titan Books for review on this site.

4 comments

Comment from: PEDRO FERREIRA [Visitor]

Cover looks very clumsy. Might hunt down the original books unless this version has something extra included.

May. 27, 2021 @ 15:33
Comment from: David Pellegrini [Visitor]  

Hello Paul!

I’m reading the book, few days ago I buy the kindle version…the print is dead! 😃

I don’t know where is the right place where to write this thing that follow…but I would like to ask you an opinion: did you ever stop and think about how many time REALLY passes between the hire of Winston and the battle with Gozer?

I’ll explain better: during the meeting with Lenny the mayor, Winston introduces himself saying that is with Ghostbusters since “a couple of weeks"…but is it true?

If you strictly follow the events in the movie from the end of the “montage": the hire, the same night the assault of Vinz Clortho and the date of Peter and possessed Dana, the next morning the visit of Walter Peck that brings to the containment unit explosion which follows the arrest of the Ghostbusters and then the meeting with the mayor, it seems to me that passes no more than how much? Two or three days?

Am I wrong with this thing?
What do you think about it?

Cheers
Dave

Dec. 21, 2021 @ 13:45
Comment from: [Member]

Hi David

I never really gave it much thought, but I would think that a week or two passes, much like Winston says. We just don’t see much passage of time, but I don’t think it all happens as quickly as two days… even if it does seem like it.

– Paul

Dec. 21, 2021 @ 14:20
Comment from: David Pellegrini [Visitor]  

Haha, don’t mind it! That was one of my stupid questions! ;D ;D

I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that in my spare time I’m enjoying making my own mix of the soundtrack of the first film.
I take what I need from all three soundtracks (bootleg, Varese and Sony).

Plus: I’m fixing Ray Parker’s Ghostbusters as you listen to it at the beginning of the film after the attack on Alice the librarian and on the “montage” scene (it’s all cut and paste parts of the extended version, parts of the instrumental version, parts of the single version), I’m also fixing Cleanin’ up the town as it is on the scene of the escape from the library and after the alarm call (again it’s all cut and paste of the single version and the rare longer version), then I insert the parts of Savin’ the day where they must be.
I’m also trying to modify Magic by Mick Smiley, unfortunately there is no instrumental version around.

I want to point out that I am not a professional but I am involved in music and I have always liked to dabble in audio and video editing.

You’re gonna say, “What the hell are you doing?”
:D :D
There are those who have fun in one way and those who have fun in others…I go crazy with this! Haha

I hope to do a good job, then if you want, at the end of the job, I’d like to send you the files to listen to.

Cheers

David

P.S. In case I apologize for my English, I try to write both through my knowledge and with the help of the machine translator!

Dec. 22, 2021 @ 03:01

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