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The Terminator (1984) novelization by Shaun Hutson Review


By: Endo Morgan On June 8th, 2011

The Terminator Novelization by Shaun Hutson“In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created ‘THE TERMINATOR’ “

This novel was written in association with Hemdale as a tie-in for the movie and was based on one of the numerous script ideas written by James Cameron.

Shaun Hutson was brought in to tantalize the appetites of a generation of people foaming at the mouth in anticipation of a good fright.

“With his hands planted firmly on his hips he gazed around him, like a monarch surveying a newly-found kingdom for, in a way, that was what he was doing. He would reign supreme here. The man flexed one huge arm, squeezing his hand into a fist, his muscles bulging.

He knew that somewhere in the vast sprawling city beneath him lay the prize that he sought. He had been chosen for this task and nothing was going to prevent him from carrying it out.

He sucked in another deep breath and felt the power surge through him. A power which came from the realization that he had never yet failed in such a task.

The Terminator eyed his new domain impassively.”

‘What is happiness? – The feeling that power increases – that a resistance is overcome… ‘ – Nietzsche.

‘For he whom they feared, awaited them.’ – Motley Crue.

The Terminator Novel by Shaun Hutson

REVIEW;

There’s the occasional discrepancy with the script used for the final cut of the movie, which is to be expected since Hollywood movie-makers tend to change direction often and sometimes aggravatingly. For you total Terminator nerds out there; the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel (or in this case Time Displacement Equipment) is purple, yes,- I know! but on I read and a good thing too, otherwise I may not have even noticed that Tech Noir is called Stokers… !?!

Having read six of Mr. Hutson’s novels, I found the writing both fluid and comfortable (if you can use the word “comfortable” when describing the horror maestro’s works… ). The detail in the action scenes added depth to a story which quite literally spoke for itself.

Kyle Reese, here a “rugged” twenty-six year old, who suffers flashbacks of the future-war and the atrocities witnessed by both young and old. No-one is safe. The almost disensitization of fighters barely old enough to even consider thinking about smoking is emphasized in a scene in which a sixteen year old resistance fighter drags a gun from the cold charred fingers of a dead ten year old boy and on finding it ammoless throws it away without a pause and moves on in the struggle against SkyNet.

These flashbacks give a more visceral edge to the (don’t hold this against me) forlorn Kyle Reese, we realise quite how much suffering has been inflicted upon a man who quite frankly cries about flowers and trees and things (I’m not knocking it, believe me, SkyNet’s a right bastard and a half).

We get a better insight into Sarah Connor’s state of mind pre- jugment day revelations, how almost wistful she is about her future and the people in her life… WARNING: discrepancy alert! Ginger is, well, ginger! The big-haired goddess dreams of writing a book on fitness and sex (actress Bess Motta did do the famous 20 Minute Workout you know).

The environment and terrain of L.A is used to its fullest advantage, again, something a movie can sometimes lack,- the finer details. The author describes the oppressive seasonal heat and the way the sudden downpour affects the very smell and attitude of a city busy bopping in shoulder-pads to the synth sounds of the eighties.

The gore is spread liberally and gleefully as punks, police, Matt and poor Ginger are all caught in the cross-hairs (sometimes steely fingers) of a cold calculated killing machine.

Oh, and by the by, the fight between Matt and the T-800 is longer and more detailed with Matt almost gaining the upperhand at one point.

I’ll not go into too greater detail on the er, love scenes but at times it felt somewhat akin to accidently catching my parents going at it with great gusto (I definitely turned the page quickly there, sorry Mr. Hutson).

There is an air of self-fulfilling prophecy to the love between Kyle and Sarah, both knowing, despite hoping differently, that it would all end badly. The awareness of this fact is palpable.

Keep an eye out for Sarah telling Kyle that he must be John’s dad, explaining that she would never dream of loving anyone else enough to make a baby with them.

“I came across time for you Sarah. I love you. I always have.”

Sadly I deluded myself into believing it might end with “happily ever after” (yes I know it’s pathetic! shut up!) but no, BANG BANG BANG and then a Kyle Reese shaped explosion and all was lost, oblitterated into T-800 sized pieces of shrapnel.

 

SUMMARY;

This book lacked some of the adrenaline which the movie (rightly) boasted but it’s not all negative. “The Terminator” by Mr. Shaun Hutson adds a depth which even with the overused addition of 3D,- still can only be reached via the written word. The use of gore and cold brutality saves this book from being just another movie-to-book novelization, yes, you will find holes if you really look but to be honest I think it would have lacked somewhat had it been flawless. I enjoyed the book, it added, even when there was little left to add and is totally worth a gander. So, if you like your action bruised, bloodied and ripped from the knees and torso then here’s a book which takes a hit and makes your eyes water…

Not for the faint of heart.

 

Note; Mr. Hutson is notorious for his sphincter releases, see if you can spot one, or go online and look it up at: www.shaunhutson.com ;p

Categories: AuthorsBooksJames CameronJohn ConnorKyle ReeseSarah ConnorShaun HutsonT-800The Terminator (1984)The Terminator (1984)

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