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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

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.


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.

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