3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2011
I haven't read any of Guy Adams other novels and came to this book purely as a fan of Hammer and the film Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter.
I really didn't enjoy it. Guy Adams has made some very bizarre choices in the way he has adapted the film for this novelisation. The most jarring of which is to narrate the story in the present tense, from the first person point of view of just about every characters in the story. This leads to very short chapters and a constantly changing view point. The characterisation and narrative voices just aren't different enough so I found myself confused a lot of the time about who was telling the story and had to keep flicking back through the book. Baring in mind that I'm quite familiar with the story via the film, I found this book difficult to follow a lot of the time.
The attempts at humour and wit within the text are also quite jarring and they come across to me a lot of the time as smug rather than funny.
If this was an original novel by Guy Adams, I'm sure it would be fine. But as a novelisation of a classic Hammer film it's massively unsatisfying. I'm certainly not tempted to try any of his other books, and if he adapted another Hammer I wouldn't waste my time reading it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2011
To start with I really enjoyed this novel...
I'm a big fan of the classic Hammer movie and discovered Guy Adams novel quite by accident a week or so ago. At first I thought that it was a new adventure based around the Captain Kronos character, but realised that this was in fact a new novelisation of the 1974 film...
To begin with the novel fleshes out characters, situations and details. We get to know more about Grost, Marcus and Carla... and the strange Durward family... Yet Adams doesn't say much more about Kronos himself, except what we already know and how he received his terrible stomach wound during the wars... Although Kronos is remote, I feel that this adds to his character greatly and helps to enhance his chosen life as a vampire hunter.
The novel is written from a number of different perspectives, with different characters telling the story in their own words. This style didn't put me off at all as I found it quite refreshing and interesting...
Some sections perhaps seemed a little rushed, but Adams builds up the suspense until Kronos encounters his prey in a deadly duel to the death...
Captain Kronos has become a cult movie over the years and I believe that Guy Adams novelisation represents a refreshing new take on the story and its characters...
Don't be put off if your a Kronos fan... go and buy this novel... I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did!
on 21 March 2014
Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, was a Hammer film from 1974 containing everything Hammer was good at, action, blood, tongue in cheek humour and Caroline Munro. Unfortunately for Hammer the likes of The Exorcist, The Wicker Man and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were all released around the same time and had all pushed the genre in new and interesting ways. It left Hammer looking old fashioned and outdated continuing a decline it never (at least not yet) recovered from. What was originally planned as a series of movies or TV shows starring Kronos, ended up as a relatively obscure movie remembered with affection by many, including me. That’s why this novelisation at the hands of Guy Adams and under the Hammer imprint (recently introduced by Arrow books) had me excited, but let’s see if it met my expectations.
Captain Kronos is a fairly obscure, blonde locked, foreign accented, ex-soldier who along with trusty sidekick Professor Grost, wander the countryside seeking out and dealing with vampires. It’s during one of these adventures that they meet the feisty Carla who joins them as they seek the cause of premature ageing in a small village. Cue, scheming villagers, rich and mysterious landowners and several hired mercenaries who are set to stop Kronos and his gang.
As a novelisation it sticks, as you would expect, pretty closely to the film storyline and that’s no bad thing. Brian Clemens, the original creator (and who contributes a foreword to this book) had invented an interesting take on the vampire mythos. Here were vampires who had different strains of the “disease” meaning some could venture out in daylight, others couldn’t be killed by staking, others didn’t mind garlic..you get the idea. That coupled with the mystery surrounding Kronos and Grost’s history and the strong female character of Carla, contributed to an interesting plot which has been retained in all it’s glory here. We do get some added backstory which illuminates several characters and fills in some of the many blanks from the film which were presumably to be filled in with the sequels.
My biggest problem with the book is the chapter structure used. Each chapter is narrated by that chapters lead character a clever device which, not only provides the reader with multiple viewpoints but also lets us get into the minds of many of the characters. The only problem is the character development is not strong enough to make these narrators particularly distinctive. This just led to me frequently trying to remind myself which character was speaking, this was particularly noticeable with the minor characters where a lack of distinct voice was an issue.
For those who haven’t seen the film and have an interest in sword wielding heroes taking on vampires, then this is recommended. For fans of the film it fills in some useful backstory, but I hope this is just a prelude to further adventures from Kronos and the gang, where hopefully a writer with Guy Adam’s talent could spread his wings a bit more and really explore the mythos. Finally, Hammer seem determined to adorn these books with frankly soppy images more suited to the paranormal romance shelves than the beating heart of gothic filmmaking, but ignore the boy band wanabbee on the cover and enjoy the book for the fun adventure it is.
on 12 September 2012
I've been a fan of the original movie "Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter" ever since I fiurst caught it on a late night showing on BBC2, many moons ago, so I was thrilled to see a new adaptation on the shelves. Guy Adam's novelisation is a brisk, workmanlike telling of the events in the movie, reworked to give Kronos a definite place and time in history. Ironically, Adam's choice of time and place is one of the few things about the book I dislike, as it plainly contradicts some of the facts we are given on-screen in the movie. I'm not sure why he chose to make these changes, as there's little reason for them and with a little research he could easily have chosen events to place around Kronos that wouldn't have contradicted the movie. In other sections Adam's drops hints about other possible adventures of the fearless vampire killer, including a hunt for Dracula and his nest mate, Baron Vorshatis. Hopefully this volume is enough of a success that Adams can be persuaded to bring us another adventure of Kronos and Grost.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2011
I will admit I went into this having never seen the movie. I liked it, but after I read it I watched the movie. It lowered my love of the book, but not by too much.