Favorite Paperback Theatre: The Driver (1978)

“July in the city.

No relief from the heat as evening approached. The day before had been miserable; the next day would be no better. Somehow people accepted this. It was, after all, the City Of Angels. And angels don’t complain.”

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8 Responses to “Favorite Paperback Theatre: The Driver (1978)”

  1. Did you ever read this? Sometimes these movie novelizations can be interesting. Two that immediately come to mind (and I think I still have them somewhere) was Star Wars by George Lucas (the one and the same) and Hickey & Boggs by Phillip Rock.

    • christian Says:

      I literally just picked it up at Powell’s today. And it’s so clearly Walter Hill’s script twined with Clyde B. Phillips stuffiings. Hoping to read the deleted Rainbeaux Smith character stuff. And those opening lines above are a doozy!

  2. Jeez, novelizations (or the novels movies were based on) were a big chunk of my reading material when I was a kid, lemme tell ya! BTW, the novelization of the first Star Wars movie is actually written by Alan Dean Foster, who got big $$$ to be quiet about it. Foster wrote LOTS of novelizations, but one of the best is for Carpenter/O’Bannon’s Dark Star. Foster makes the movie/script even funnier–and explains so much back-story, it’s a richer experience. Worth hunting down. Also adding much backstory was the n-zation of Escape From New York. The novels of these two films also have unlimited budgets, so there are no restraints on imaginative flights of fancy–nor any restraints on breathing room, something that greatly helped Bob Gale’s n-zation of 1941 (from his script with Zemekis & Milius). I gotta tell you: 1941, the novel, is laugh out loud funny; much more logical; darker; and so much better paced than the film. Like apples and oranges…
    Thanks,
    Ivan

    • christian Says:

      You nailed it. In fact, I have a rough draft of a post about the novelization of DARK STAR – one of my favorites since as you duly noted, it’s even funnier than the film. And in that vein, Foster also wrote the ALIEN novel, which Foster makes his own as well, making the story a metaphor for dreams/nightmares.

      I remember reading STAR WARS out loud to my 4th grade class and wondering why it took 12 pages just to describe the stars…But we’re all happy they didn’t make SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYES – Luke and Leia trapped in a prison cell for a chunk of story.

      I will definitely go seek out 1941 now..

      Of course, when I finally saw MANHATTAN, I had to laugh:

      “It’s like another contemporary American phenomenon that’s truly moronic: The novelizations of movies.”

  3. Yeah, I’ve read the ESCAPE FROM NY novelization and it’s a keeper with a little bit of added backstory to Snake and, of course, inclusion of the botched bank heist. I’ve heard the novelization for THE FOG is quite interesting but I haven’t had a chance to pick it up.

  4. Christian: Nothing about Snake’s moniker, but crazy psychedelic nerve gas war (with souped-up hang-gliders) scene/flashback/memories!
    And thanks for jogging my memory about Foster’s Alien–he starts off the book by calling the crew “seven dreamers,” but that none of them were “professional dreamers.” Never mentions professional dreaming again. Love it!

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