Batman Begins: Novelisation Paperback – 16 Jun 2005
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" O'Neill perfectly captures the atmosphere, tension and white-knuckle excitement of the movie, all while delving deeper..." -- 6 Degrees Film.com June 2005
From the Inside Flap
Based on the eagerly awaited new feature film-the exciting origins of the ultimate crime fighter!
Bruce Wayne is dead. The young heir to the Wayne empire disappeared seven years ago. His vast fortune has been given away, and the crime wave that began with the brutal murder of his parents has turned Gotham City into a living hell. The last holdouts against corruption-the cops who can't be bought, the D.A.s who can't be intimidated-are outnumbered and outgunned. They need help . . . fast.
A world away, in a dank Himalayan prison, a nameless, hardened man fights every day to survive. He has spent seven years scouring the globe, studying the criminal mind, looking for an answer to the ugly riddle of his childhood. But something has been looking for him, too. Here, in the darkest places of his own anger, Bruce Wayne will discover his destiny-and an ordinary man will become a legend. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Unfortunately, by page 136 the novel dips ever so slightly, but provides some insight into motives of the main players. The creation of Bruce Wayne's backstory was the high point. Some of the dialogue is verbatim from the movie, which works 80% of the time.
It took me 6 hours to read this novel. If you enjoyed the movie, you may enjoy the book. Ra's Al Ghul's journal almost steals Bruce's thunder, but who can really steal anything from Batman? He's the Guardian of Gotham City.
5 stars: pages 1-135
3 stars: pages 136-320
Total: 4 stars
Overall this book is an excellent telling of Batman's origins, but lacks in thematic elements. Most action scenes are rushed through and written poorly, and some moments don't seem to make much sense.
Being the complete comic book nerd I am, this story seems too good to be true. I reccommend this if your looking for a short fun read.
If the movie is half as good as the book was, it will be great.
O'Neil's dialogue is often pulled directly from the screenplay, but the parts that are not are shaky and underwhelming. They read like a comic book treatment rather than a novel. An attempt to compensate for this shortcoming is made sporadically throughout the novel in small bursts of background information and characters' inner thoughts. Sadly, almost all of these moments are superficial and add nothing to the story or the characters; they are filler at best.
This isn't to say that the novel is a complete waste of time. There are a couple moments when O'Neil's creativity shine, such as the chapter when Bruce is stealing documents which reveal the history of Ra's Al Ghul. While the history itself is the prime example of my critique about Ra's characterization, the theft scene is well done and feels like it could have been a scene in the movie. It adds to the development of Bruce into Batman and stays true to the spirit of the screenplay.
I don't mind when an author expands on the screenplay he is adapting. In fact, I prefer if they do. But in expanding the story, the adapter needs to remain true to the spirit of the original screenplay, and O'Neil does not do this with any consistency.