The Terminator by Randall Frakes

Posted: 2011.07.27 in Books

My copy of The Terminator came complete with someone else's memento: their movie ticket stub. Awesome bookmark.

One of the last books I read in recent history was the novelization for The Terminator. I am a big fan of the original movie, but I’d never ventured into the realm of its book format. In reading over the reviews on Amazon, however, readers LOVED this book in particular because of its in-depth treatment of the psychology behind main character Kyle Reese.

When I was little and watched this movie with my dad, I’d had a huge crush on Reese. I never thought he was physically attractive, but I loved his character’s wildness and determination. So, once I knew that the novelization delved into his psyche, I knew I had to read it. And, I was not disappointed.

I must admit that the beginning of the book is pretty tedious. The author, Randall Frakes, goes rather unnecessarily in-depth into the dump truck driver’s mind and spends a ludicrous amount of time on him, one of the punk kids whom the Terminator encounters during the onset of the movie, and the bum in the alley when Reese first appears. The actual parts that these characters play in the movie are minimal and they have somewhere between 1-3 minutes total screen time, yet the novel begins with pages and pages about them. But, rest assured that after you muster past these slow and plodding points the novel picks up and the action begins.

I must agree with the reviewers on Amazon as regards the treatment of Reese: he has considerably more “screen time” if you will, and the book does a very good job of demonstrating Reese’s conflicting emotions as a young man and a soldier, a person displaced from all that he knows and dropped into a relative paradise. Sarah Connor also enjoys similar treatment, yet Reese certainly has his share of the spotlight.

The book is just barely over 200 pages, so it is a rather quick read. Unfortunately, it’s not available in eBook format and is out of print, so if you want to have a peek at it you will have to nab yourself a used copy.

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