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The Black Hole (1979)

The Black Hole (1979)

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3.36 of 5 Votes: 5
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0345285387 (ISBN13: 9780345285386)
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About book The Black Hole (1979)

I have not read this book in over thirty years. I read it again on a nostalgic whimsy. It was a decent adaptation of the movie [although the ending of the book differs from the movie’s ending]. I know other reviewers have mentioned this, but there is a really bad typo at the very end that ruins the ending of the book [which, in my opinion, is worse than the movie’s ending]. From what I remember, it essentially follows the movie scene-by-scene. There is very little, if any, character development or ‘backstory’ provided in the novelization. Despite the book’s flaws [mainly typos] and lack of depth, I still enjoyed reading it. It is fairly straightforward – exploration crew finds vessel missing in space for twenty years and decides to solve the mystery of its ‘loss’; they encounter the Captain who has gone slightly mad with his own overblown self-importance; they must ‘fight’ for their lives to escape. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had expanded on the movie.It seems like the original copy of the book I had had some pictures from the movie in the middle; the copy I read did not have any photographs in it. I do remember thinking this movie was kind of a poor-man’s rip-off of Star Wars, but I still enjoyed the movie as a youth. It was a nice visit down nostalgia lane, but I am not sure how soon I will reread it [the ending still kinda bugs me, but not as bad as it did when I first read it].

For the most part I really enjoyed reading this book, all up until the end that is. I was highly disappointed in the way the story finished, I would have preferred for the story to be left to the readers imagination rather than to have some poor explanation of what's through a black hole. Especially when that explanation leaves the characters as nothing more than a consciousness floating in oblivion. I would have rather they died.

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When I picked it up I hadn't realized this was a novelization of the Disney movie - I was hoping it was a book that inspired the movie. No such luck. It reads like a novelization, very directed and fairly dry.I have only seen the movie once, long ago shortly after it was released (in 1979), but in the era of Star Wars it captured my imagination and reserved for itself a special little place in my heart - despite the fact that I can remember only vague images from the movie.The book is a good refresher on the concepts in the movie - and probably goes a bit deeper into the conceptual side of black holes and a possible future of space exploration - or at least gives you more time to think about it as you read it.If you have an interest in sci-fi, space exploration, black holes and the like, it's definitely a good story - with some decent drama and an (albeit predictable) twist to keep things interesting. If memory serves, the ending is a bit different between the movie and the book - and the book's conclusion is a bit less than satisfying, but at least doesn't fall into the usual cookie-cutter format. Will have to rewatch the movie and decide (as an adult) if it is worth the viewing. It has already made it onto my Netflix queue. The special effects will no doubt be quite dated, but Disney usually had decent live-action movies back then.

I am beside myself to explain how it is possible I liked this novelization of the movie better than the movie...after I saw and liked the movie first. Perhaps it is the King Effect, where every book is far better than the movie? But those are not novelizations. Hmm, odd. Anyhow, it was a solid read that went by quickly. It wasn't Shakespeare or anything, but the story was good and the science wasn't complete bunk. The loss of 2 stars was caused directly by the ending. I won't disclose it here, but it was disappointing and had so much more potential than what the movie provided. Fault of the movie creators to be sure, but I would have hoped Foster would have used some poetic license to at least make the ending quasi-realistic. Overall, not terrible and certainly better than the movie. 2.5 stars

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