Indiana Jones and the Peril in Delphi Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 1991
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From the Back Cover
For sixteen centuries the Order of Pythis has awaited the reappearance of the ancient oracle of sacred knowledge of Delphi. An earthquake, rending the earth beneath the ruins, has now heralded her return. Dorian Belecamus, a beautiful and bewitching archaeology professor, sees an opportunity to do more than dig into the past: This is her chance to seize control of her country's future--by becoming the Oracle of Delphi! And she's found just the man to help her consummate her scheme. He's brash, he's reckless, and he's fallen under her spell. His name: Indiana Jones.
About the Author
Rob MacGregor is an Edgar-winning author who has been on the New York Times bestseller list. He is the author of seventeen novels, ten nonfiction books, and numerous magazine and newspaper articles. In addition to writing his own novels, he has teemed with George Lucas, Peter Benchly, and Billy Dee Williams.
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It's the first of Indy's adventures as an adult and sees him graduate college under a cloud and go off to Paris where he is seduced by one of his tutors and dragged off to Greece where he is unwittingly involved in a political plot and the recovery of a blah blah...prophecy...gibberish...fulfilled...yadda yadda. For much of the length I found this to be quite unengaging and quickly lost track of all the characters as many of them were poorly defined and indistinguishable from each other. I only found it to be sporadically interesting in the middle with the better writing literally bookending the story. As usual, none of the action feels epic. It's like a TV show version of Indy. These are just words on a page, budget is not a problem. Go crazy with all sorts of wild stuff. Rob MacGregor went on to write several of the Indy novels but this first one is a bit of a misfire. I can't say it was terrible though but not exactly the best note to end my dis-order on.
I feel sad. It's the end of a decade-long era. I still have the novelizations to read, but it won't be the same.
1922. Indiana Jones has just finished college and begun studying Linguistics in Paris. However, an attractive and charismatic woman offers Indy an irresistable oportunity; a trip to Delphi in Greece and a new career in Archaeology. Once at Delphi, Indiana begins to discover that several shady parties are all vying for control of the fabled Oracle which may have resurfaced after thousands of years.
Rob MacGregor does a great job of capturing the bumbling but courageous Indy of the Young Indiana Jones series (played by Sean Patrick Flannery) and beginning to transition him into the wiser and more cynical Indy as portrayed by Harrison Ford. What makes this particularly impressive is that this book was written before the Young Indiana Jones series was even made! I did like that MacGregor introduces several characters to help Indy throughout the book because, after all, where would our hero be without sidekicks (Sallah and Short Round, for example).
Because this is a younger and less experienced Indy (as mentioned above, all of his adventures in Young Indiana Jones had yet to be created when the book was written, so there's no hint of the fact that he served all across the globe in WWI) it is often hard to equate him with the adventurer that we all loved in the films. Here he is a student, not a teacher, and is very much a follower rather than the driving force behind the action. The actual plot of this book is also a bit weak and poorly defined with it's crux points and final conclusion all being a bit confusing and largely unsatisfying. Ultimately, the worst thing about this is that the 'Perial at Delphi' never actually feels particularly perilous.
This book suffers from being the introduction of a heroic legend before he was all that heroic or legendary. However, it has just enough of that Jones magic to keep you reading and, in my case at least, make me hungry to get stuck into the next book in the series: 'Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants'.
Rob MacGregor really captured what I've always loved about Indy in the motion pictures.
Although he isn't quite the adventurer we all have come to know and love, he is only young at this point, that said, this book is well written and you can easily imagine this young lad becoming the one depicted by Harrison Ford in the movies of the future. (That is, future chronologically. Of course, they came out AFTER the film in real life)
So was there anything I disliked about this book?
No, not really.
However it wasn't perfect, that being why I'm giving it only 4 stars, but its a close 4.5 out of 5 star rating.
The pace is good, Rob doesn't linger on one subject for too long. Just enough for you to get the point of the situation without loosing interest and then swiftly moves the story along to the next plot point.
George Lucas himself had overseen some of the writing so it kept with the way of the films, though Rob was still given a great degree of Writing Freedom. Lucas did request Rob to remove a Sex Scene, which he did, to make the book more family friendly, but for some reason the following (spoiler) moment was still 'Family Friendly' enough:
(Spoiler) ### At one point, someone is shot in the face with a rifle and he details the bone fragments and brain pieces that can be seen where a characters face once was ### (Spoiler)
It's a decent read. Not too much is going on, I had expected a more, Raiders of the Lost Ark approach, with boulder chases and booby traps, but nothing like that was present. Despite that, the book was still decent and I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to any fans of the Films.
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