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MOVIES INTO BOOKS

NOVELIZATIONS

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You’ve seen the movie; you’ve bought the T-shirt; you’ve eaten some tie-in fast food; your 6-year-old has already broken the action toy. Now you can read the book. Yep, this summer’s blockbusters-Cliffhanger, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Last Action Hero, and Super Mario Bros.-have all been conveniently shrunk down to book size. Action is the common denominator here, but focus on it and you will miss the most delicious part of these guilty pleasures-the writing. Have a passion for great description? Here’s Jack Slater in Hero (Berkley): ”He was a six-and-a-half-foot mountain of a man, his shoulders as broad and as hard as a car bumper.” Into existentialism? Check out Gabe Walker in Cliffhanger (Jove): ”You can’t change what you are. So you might as well just be it.” Love romance? Here’s how Bruce Lee and his future wife spar in Dragon (Jove) when he arrives on a motorcycle: ”I thought you guys pulled rickshas,” she said. ”I left mine home today. Hop on.” You know things are strange when the savviest scribbling in the bunch comes in Super Mario Bros. (Hyperion), which is aimed at 8- to 10-year-olds. Mario’s dating advice to Luigi is this pearl: ”The first thing you gotta do is tell her what you are. Even if the girl is a princess, their toilets clog up, too, you know.” Hemingway never said it better.