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Abyss Hardcover – 5 Oct 1989


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (5 Oct. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099690608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099690603
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 11.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 810,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the multi-award winning and bestselling author of a number of ground-breaking adult SFF novels. Ender's Game is his first YA cross-over novel in the UK.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bezzer on 19 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is related to the James Cameron film 'The Abyss' starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn.

The author worked from the initial film screenplay (written by James Cameron) and then the daily alterations to the script, while the film was in production. However, this is not just a book of the screenplay - it goes much further than that. Orson Scott Card has written some brilliant 'back story' to flesh out the main characters - Bud, Lindsey and Coffey - and has also given a much deeper interpretation of the involvement of the 'non-terrestrial intelligence' lifeforms. This is one of the few cases where I can say I enjoyed the book and the film equally and feel that you should experience both. If you only read the book you miss out on James Cameron's vision of the story and the above average performance of the actors. If you only see the film, you don't fully understand what motivates all the characters (including the NTIs) - knowing what each of them is thinking adds a lot of depth and (for me) filled a lot of gaps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 18 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A rare book that acts as a perfect companion to a movie rather than just bearing the same title. Fabulous.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
What a novelization should be 25 Jun. 1998
By Timothy Mengers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was nervous reading this book because The Abyss is one of my all time favorite movies. My fears were quickly quieted. Orson scott Card is a masterful story teller and creates a depth to his characters that make them come alive. I look forward to picking up some of his other works. This book was the movie and more. Each enriches the other. The book adds the detail a movie cannot contain. I know the movie by heart and was not bored by this book. That says a lot.
I also found the afterwords by both Cameron and Card fascinating. It is good to see two masters of their own media working together with a respect for each other's work. Both men should be applauded for thier contributions to the world of Science Fiction.
I was riveted to this book and got frustrated when I put it down then forgot where I put it. I highly recommend the book and the movie.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A Novel that adds a whole new dimension to the Movie 18 Oct. 2000
By Lawrance Bernabo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The dusk jacket of this novel takes great pains to explain that this is "A Novel by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Author Orson Scott Card based on an original screenplay by James Cameron." That lengthy description is important because it is trying to make it crystal clear that this is NOT a "novelization" of a screenplay, and to give you some idea what a unique and exquisite book you are reading. Card provides an entirely new dimension to Cameron's screenplay.
I still think the Abyss is James Cameron's best movie, Oscar winning block busters aside, although that other film certainly proves water is his natural element. Displeased with the "cursory, mediocre, often inaccurate, and sometimes downright reprehensible" novelizations he had already read of his films, Cameron determined there would be a NOVEL. In a totally unique process, Card worked from videotapes of the film as the editing progressed, updating his manuscript as scenes were changed, added or cut. In addition to covering everything you see in the film version of "The Abyss," Card made two significant contributions to the story in his novel.
First, he wrote chapters focusing on the three main characters of Buddy, Linsey and Coffee. Each chapter goes back to when they were kids and relates the seminal events that made them the people they grew up to be and brought them to the setting of this story. Cameron was so impressed with these chapters that before filming began he gave them to Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (and you have to wonder what Michael Biehn would have done with the background on Coffey). Second, Card works in the entire story from the side of the alien beings, explaining what they are doing and thinking even when they are not around the humans on Deepcore. Things that you wondered about in the film (How could Coffey survive that great depth and cut the right wire?) will be made clear and the additional scenes add great depth to the film (intentional pun).
It is because of this added dimension that I think you will best enjoy this book after you have seen the film and more specifically the Special Edition or Director's Cut of the film. Of course, I can certainly appreciate that fans of Orson Scott Card might pick up "The Abyss" without any care about the movie. This is not a bad thing either because Card is a first rate imaginative writer, as he has proven from "Ender's Game" to "Enchantment." If you loved the movie, you will love the book. You do not want to miss out on this one.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Read this and you won't have to bother with the movie. 5 Mar. 2002
By Chadwick H. Saxelid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
And that's a pretty strange recommendation to make for a movie novelization, it's supposed to be the other way around. Following writer/director James Cameron's recommendation to write a real novel based on his story rather than just write it in narrative form (which so many writer-for-hire types do) Orson Scott Card crafted a well thought out expansion of the film's story. In addition to having the pre-special edition cut sequences (which go a long way in explaining the abyss's residents motivations and such) Card also contributes some welcome background material for the main characters. In an interesting note about the novel's origins (it was written during filming) Card shares that Cameron actually had the principle actors read their individual character's background material from Card's early drafts to better understand the inner workings he wanted communicated in their performances. Highly recommended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Better than most film tie-ins 17 Feb. 1998
By Nige - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I first read this book quite some time ago and before I'd seen the film. Most movie tie-ins tend to be simply the book of the screenplay.
While this one does stick fairly close to the film, Mr Card takes the opportunity to pad out the characters a little, including some background that isn't in the film that gives you an insight into why some of the charcaters behave the way they do.
For instance, the SEAL that freaks out - Coffey? Caffey? - there's an entire, albeit short, chapter about his troubled childhood in a rough neighbourhood that goes someway to explaining why he's such a complete jar-head.
And, to be honest, having read the book first then seeing the film, I was a little disapointed with the effects at the end. Mr Card did a much better descriptive job that in my opinion, the film didn't live up to.
Even if you've seen the film (I have a copy on video as well as a copy of this book) read the book. My opinion: the book is better than the film.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The best book I've ever read! Based on an incredible movie. 25 Jun. 2001
By Justin Lloyd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The novel of The Abyss by Orson Scott Card is the best novel I've ever read, including both novelizations of movies and non-novelizations. The best part about The Abyss is that it takes what is a great movie and then goes miles beyond. It goes into the thoughts of the individual characters, explains why they made the decisions they did, and how they feel about them. Most interestingly is into the mind of Coffee. How he isn't able to figure out why he's making the decisions he does, why he can't control his actions, and why, when he's thinking clearly, makes the choices he does. It makes him not out to be a bad guy, but a victim as well. Anyone that loves the movie should do themself a million favors and find a copy of this book and read it. Find several more and give them to your friends. It is incredible, and in as many ways as it can, will actually make you a better person. There is so much to be learned about working together, dealing with people, what makes people tick, and how to best deal with any situation. Orson Scott Card did a marvelous job. A definite read for ANYBODY. Fabulous, marvelous, extrordinary. I wish I could say enough.
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