Spider-Man Mass Market Paperback – Mar 19 2002
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-David has taken the screenplay and turned it into an entertaining, exciting novel. The famous character has been updated for the 21st century with high-tech weapons and gadgets, and genetically altered spiders. The story traces Peter Parker from his origins as a wimpy high school nerd to a New York City photographer by day and crime-fighting superhero by night. The usual characters are all well portrayed: Peter's longtime love Mary Jane, the gruff newspaper editor J. Jonah Jamesson, Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and, of course, Spidey's nemesis, the Green Goblin. Much of the book centers on the rivals and how they came to be what they are: one seeking redemption and the other revenge. With its snappy dialogue, fast pace, and jam-packed action sequences, the novel has the feel of a comic book, and it should be a hot item with teens.
James O. Cahill, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Peter David is famous for writing some of the most popular of the original Star Trek: The Next Generation novels, including Imzadi and A Rock and a Hard Place. His original works include the original fantasy Sir Apropos of Nothing, the Arthurian novel Knight Life, and the quirky werewolf story Howling Mad. He single-handedly revived the classic comic book series The Incredible Hulk and has written just about every famous comic book superhero, including Spider-Man and the futuristic Spider-Man 2099. He collaborated with J. Michael Straczynski on the Babylon 5 novels and comic book series, and with Bill Mumy, he created the Nickelodeon television series Space Cases. In his spare time, he writes movie screenplays, children’s books, and TV scripts.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
I particularly disagreed with the way the author characterized Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin - he seemed way out of character to me here. His transformation into the Goblin via the lab-experiment-gone-wrong was just light-years off the mark. The Goblin's going to emerge from the vapor-chamber and caper about waving his hands over his head and hooting like a great ape on the rampage? Not the Norman Osborn I'm familiar with, folks.
The book goes into far more depth regarding Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, which is a plus because the author understands these characters much better.
If you want to read the script, allow me to suggest Mark Cotta Vaz' "Behind the Mask of Spider-Man", which contains the entire script with fewer annoyances such as the aforementioned Goblin transformation scene.
In short, it's safe to say this novelization is for Spider-Man completists only. If you just haaaaaave to have it, be my guest.
The author's tone in Spider Man is anything but formal. The text brims with Britney Spears similes, witty thoughts, and plenty of cliches. This nonchalant approach makes for a very fast read. I was to chapter 5 in less than an hour.
For the most part, the novelization of Spider Man follows the movie almost exactly except for some slight differences. Unlike the movie, the book explains a lot of Peter Parker's childhood, and the death of his biological parents. Also, the action of the book occassionally takes a break to reveal an entry in Peter Parker's journal, in which he's writing to his deceased parents. I thought surely this concept would be horribly annoying, but author Peter David has used this idea to further expand the webbed one's deep emotions. A more-than-welcome addition to this amazing novelization.
All in all, the Spider Man book is NOT a great American novel, but a fun, quick read that is as captivating as its blockbuster parent.
Everything's here; Peter's transformation from nerdiness to outright coolness, his rivalry with the jock Flash Thompson, his love for the beautiful Mary Jane Watson, his adoration of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, the snazzy one-liner's, and the eventual realization that in putting on the mask of Spider-man he has sacrificed the things that he could have as Peter Parker.
Peter David has managed to write a killer Peter Parker and has managed to write a pretty good Mary Jane and Norman Osbourne as well. I loved the surprise of actually reading from the point of view of the spider that bit Peter and gave him his powers (Oddly enough it shares many similarities to the pre-hero Peter Parker).
David has also added a few inside jokes to fans of the series, for example: The part where Peter is trying to get a job at the daily bugle and meets Eddie Brock who says, "What are you lookin' at greenhorn?" With "venom" in his voice.
I finished this book in two days. That alone should convince anyone that has any doubt about this book to buy it, read it, enjoy it.
Since novelizations are written based on original screenplays and since Spider-Man had scene re-writes on a daily basis, there is quite a bit (probably 30 min. to an hour of screen time) that didn't make it to the final cut. You can read these scenes and decide for yourself if they would have improved the film. Personally, I felt that the flow was compromised but deleting them, but then again, would a mass-market movie audience sit still for a 3 hour comic book movie?
Here's a synopsis of the cut scenes:
1. A framing story book-ending the movie that features Spider-Man visiting Uncle Ben's grave. Only some of the voiceover remains in the final cut. Note: a similar flashback plot was detailed in a late 70's issue of Amazing SM.
2. A childhood scene; when Peter first comes to live with Uncle Ben and Aunt May; a reference to the fate of his parents is made.
3. A scene (right after the banner on the side of the school bus sticks to his hand) where Peter discovers he can stick to walls after reflexively dodging a truck that would have killed him otherwise.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
THE BEST MOVIE-TIE IN! Peter David captures all the great moments of the movie! READ THIS BOOK! They say the book is better than the movie, well, they are about the same because... Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2003 by Zach
Peter David's take on the Spider-Man story has never been very good. Neither is this book, which is basically his version of Spider-Man on film. Read morePublished on April 8 2003
Personally, I think that many important issues were left behind during the making of Spider-Man the movie. Being direct, the personalities of the characters are a little lost. Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2003 by Amazon Customer
I thought the auther put in really good details. I loved the way the auther, Peter David made it interesting so it felt like you were watching the movie. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2002
All there is to say is that this is definitely a good book. Peter David also added a new chapter in it, the first, where Peter Parker is still six years old and he says his uncle... Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2002
Peter Parker has always had a crush on Mary Jane the girl who lives next door to his aunt and uncle's house where Peter lives. Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2002
It takes a while for all the action!!!!! It's starts out wiht peter as a boy and he goes to live whith aunt May and Uncle Ben!!!!! Read morePublished on July 25 2002 by David adams
This book, while nicely expansive on the movie itself, could have been so much better. David's writing style is, I felt, bland and unemotional. Read morePublished on July 17 2002 by E. Fitzgerald
For my most recent birthday (wont dismiss age for privacy reasons, thankyou), I got the Spider-Man novelized version. Now, I had just seen Spider-Man...I was kinda late, mind you. Read morePublished on July 16 2002 by Anna