Merian C. Cooper's King Kong

Joe DeVito, Author, Brad Strickland, Author, Joe DeVito, Illustrator . St. Martin's $12.95 (203p) ISBN 978-0-312-34915-8

DeVito and Strickland (Kong: King of Skull Island ) deliver a fast-paced rewrite of Cooper's landmark 1932 adventure novel. Filmmaker Carl Denham is desperate for a starlet for his new project, but it's hard to locate a dame willing to board a ship bound for a secret destination with a cargo full of gas bombs. But find Ann Darrow he does, and the ship sails for the West Indies. The journey and arrival chapters are pretty boilerplate (Ann and first mate Jack Driscoll start falling for each other; the West Indian natives of Skull Island are stereotypically savage). But DeVito and Strickland do a bang-up job after the natives kidnap Ann from the ship and Denham and Driscoll must enter the island jungle and fight off deadly dinosaurs in search of Kong and the damsel in distress. The familiar scenes after Denham captures Kong and bring him back to Manhattan are thankfully succinct, and overall the authors do a fine job of respecting Cooper's pre-WWII idioms while picking up the pace for a contemporary audience. The result is a book that seems genuine and uncontrived, even as it's timed to coincide with another cinematic remake (Peter Jackson's movie hits theaters in December) of the King Kong story. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/15/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Compact Disc - 978-1-933322-49-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60252-567-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-1961-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-933322-50-6
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4668-4188-8
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