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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in His Adventure on Earth (E.T. #1)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,070 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Based on the screenplay by Melissa Mathison.

What do you do when you're lost, millions of miles from home, surrounded by frightening creatures?
You do what the Old Botanist did when he was accidentally left behind on Earth. First you find a friend...

Filmaker STEVEN SPIELBERG and novelist WILLIAM KOTZWINKLE together create a magical story about two unforgettable friends: a ge
Paperback, 246 pages
Published June 1st 1982 by Berkley (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

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Really enjoyed this! Didn't think I would as much because I've seen the film a million times so the story is ingrained but this book's interpretation of the story makes it different in certain ways. The way it was written was amusing, maybe it's just my sense of humour but descriptions of E.T. rolling along the floor like a pumpkin, speaking to the vegetables, lusting after Elliott's mother, taking pride in his big belly, there's way too many to list. Certainly recommended for fans of the movie!
Jul 08, 2008 furious rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of young adult sci-fi
Recommended to furious by: William Kotzwinkle
when this book turned up at the store one day, a couple things struck me: a) i don't remember ANYTHING about the movie ET. i think i saw it one time when i was a little kid, back when it came out. but unlike most other people on Earth, i didn't go apeshit for it or anything. so it doesn't exactly hold a place in my heart, is what i'm saying. or in my memory. b) the novelization is written by William Kotzwinkle. that dude is awesome. i mean, i've never read anything he has written, but his dust j ...more
Linda Todd
Aug 31, 2014 Linda Todd rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: friends
Recommended to Linda by: a gift
Read this book to kids at night for bed time story and they liked it that much they want me to read it again next week
Aug 02, 2014 Sereleaf rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Empiezo con decir que no es de mis historias favoritas desde siempre. De chiquita le tenía miedo y, la vez que pude ver la película entera sin largarme a llorar, no me gustó para nada. Así que hace unos días decidí darle una oportunidad al libro.

En ningún momento me dejó a la expectativa, deseando seguir con el capítulo siguiente porque el actual había quedado en suspenso. Nunca deseé decir "un capítulo más" y quedarme leyendo hasta tarde. Un montón de libros me dieron esa sensación, pero este n
Nov 09, 2015 Samantha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I re-watched the movie after quite a few years away from it and decided to reread the novel (it's my second time through). I forgot how much different this is from the movie! I got through this book pretty quickly and I had a mixed reaction to it this time. There was a bit of the book I liked, then quite a bit I didn't. For example, the plot with E.T having an infatuation with Mary, the mother. What the flip is that? It made no sense to me and was a bit of an absurd subplot. Anyway, this time it ...more
Yumi Matsue
I have ever watched this movie many times, But I had known many new things in this book.
So far , I hadn't known about ET completely.
Especially, I didn't know how he learn the words of earth.
Using computer, He could learn the words of earth.
And He could contact to his friends.
If I were Elliott, I wouldn't get along with ET.
Because I think that I would afraid ET.
So I think Elliott is very kind person.
Because He could be friend of ET.
First time I think he was suprised at ET.
As day go, ET and He bec
Aug 08, 2008 Kandice rated it it was amazing
This book is just as heartwrenching as the movie! I know it's an adaptation of themovie, not the other way around, but I always get more out of the written word than I do images on a screen.
Nov 29, 2007 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: nerdy people
Shelves: favorites, sam-and-me
Although it's incredibly nerdy, this book has to be my all time favorite. The book has so much depth and intimacy, what a classic, treasure of a book. It makes my heart warm and fuzzy!
Nov 08, 2014 Sherri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really??? All these raving reviews, yet to me it sucked. Give me the movie, (which inspired the book by the way) any day.
B. Jay
May 13, 2013 B. Jay rated it liked it
80's movie novelizations are a genre unto themselves. The ET novel fits the mold perfectly- thin and discounted as a true piece of writing, these novelizations were intended to collect a piece of coin from fans and feed the greater monetization of pop culture that Lucas had demonstrated a few years earlier. Like many of these small re-writes of the original script, ET exceeds the expectations. Kotzwinkle makes the bold move of writing the novel from the perspective of the Old Botanist. From this ...more
Haruna Saka
Oct 19, 2012 Haruna Saka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
-Penguin Readers, Level2
-Time; 10/16=20min, 10/17=56min, 10/18=12min
-7words summary; spaceship, extra-terrestrial, hide, closet, scientists, bike, return
-Discussion questions
1.If extra-terrestrial appeared in front of you, what would you do?
A. In my case, I'd escape from ET, because I'd be afraid of any kinds of alien... Even if ET isn't an afraid alien, I'd not help like Elliott. He is so kind!
2. Have you ever watched the movie, "E.T."? And, have you ever ridden on an attraction of E.T. In
Daniel Taylor
Apr 08, 2012 Daniel Taylor rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who watched and loved the movie.
One of the mysteries of the movies is what was it that made E.T. spring to life when by human measures he was already dead. William Kotzwinkle's novel gives that answer and a lot more insight into what's going into the alien's head.

I won't go into much detail. The movie is such a cultural icon that I'll assume everyone knows it's about a stranded alien trying to get home who gets help from a boy he befriends.

Film tie-ins can often be good for extra background that had to be cut from the movie. B
Jul 14, 2014 Storm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
I am in awe...

I remember watching the ET movie when I was younger, but I never would have guessed the book would hold such sway over me.
If you liked the movie, definitely check out the book, it's more then worth it. Not only do you get a better look into E.T.'s thoughts but you also get to understand the friendships he forms much better.
Feb 24, 2014 HeavyReader marked it as to-read
Shelves: movies
I remember standing in line (Wal-Mart? the supermarket? the bookstore?) and reading the first few pages of this paperback. One kid calls another kid "penis breath" and the mom wonders who this phrase found its way into her family. That's as far as a I got.
Jul 01, 2014 Shandril rated it liked it
I don't know; when I read it as a little kid I was terribly impressed. I doubt I'd feel the same way if I read it now. The bottom line is the Reese's Pieces still kick ass, regardless of who you're baiting with them. This truth will never change.
Courtney Johnson
Jan 18, 2016 Courtney Johnson rated it liked it
I haven't seen ET in a long time, but this book was pretty much the exact same thing that happened in the movie. It was a good read and kept me intrigued, but I think next time I will just watch the movie instead.
Jan 14, 2016 Shawn rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this to my son, because he had a vivid imagination, and enjoyed the underdog. This was a happy reading which took you back to the imagination, and love of a child. This will always be a classic.
Karen York-fair
Aug 25, 2015 Karen York-fair rated it it was amazing
I read this book after I watched the movie. I was astounded at how much the book revealed about the extraterrestrial's life, history and personality. I lived the book so much more than the movie. A worthwhile read.
Aitor Ibarra
Sep 10, 2015 Aitor Ibarra rated it liked it
Surprisingly good movie tie-in book. I liked the additions to the story - especially the idea that ET falls in love with Eliot's mother - who he thinks of as the "willow creature"
David Fox
Mar 26, 2014 David Fox rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any of those intrested is life outside our planet
I remember seeing E.T. as a kid and figured it was time to read the book.
I found it to be a much better read than I was truly expecting.
William Kotzwinkle found a great way to draw the reader in.
Irving Karchmar
Apr 24, 2013 Irving Karchmar rated it it was amazing
Based on the screenplay by Melissa Mathison, William Kotzwinkle tells the story of ET from his point of view, and it is in many ways better and more insightful and touching than the movie. Kotzwinkle is a wonderful storyteller, and a prolific children's book author, and lovingly tells the the alien's tale:

"What do you do when you're lost, millions of miles from home, surrounded by frightening creatures?
You do what the Old Botanist did when he was accidentally left behind on Earth. First you find
Mar 28, 2015 Jacqueline rated it did not like it
Average science fiction novel. Dragged on and very similar to movie transcript in my imagination clashed.
Axel Ovalle
Feb 16, 2015 Axel Ovalle rated it it was amazing
Me encariñé de E.T. El Extraterrestre; desde luego, se disfruta más el libro que la película. Recomendable.
Jan 19, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. The book explained
things more then the movie but I loved the movie.
Shayna Wieferich
Dec 12, 2014 Shayna Wieferich rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read.
Mar 23, 2014 Terraner rated it it was amazing
Nostalgic childhood memories.
I remember really enjoying the movie as a kid but this book truly confused me and made me question my memory of the movie. My biggest negative about it is that the author seemed to confuse genres a lot. The overall adventure seems to be a perfect story for children but there are also parts that sound like taken straight from an adult novel. There was a lot of warm, funny moments, like E.T. listening to the story or thinking about his planet but I thought that the parts from Mary's POV felt compl ...more
Dec 14, 2014 John rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
1982 grade C+
Dec 22, 2014 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit plain for a screenplay novelisation; barely any humour or detail in the action. It lacks emotion.
Jan 03, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
I got this from the Scholastic Book Club after the movie came out and read it over and over again. I loved it, and even though I didn't know the difference between a novelization of a movie and a movie based on a book, at 11 years old I was already saying pretentiously "The book is so much better than the movie." Also, in the book, it was M&Ms, not Reece's Pieces.
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William Kotzwinkle is a two-time recipient of the National Magazine Award for Fiction, a winner of the World Fantasy Award, the Prix Litteraire des Bouquinistes des Quais de Paris, the PETA Award for Children's Books, and a Book Critics Circle award nominee. His work has been translated into dozens of languages.
More about William Kotzwinkle...

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“And still others heard: dreeeple zoonnnnnnggggggg ummmmmtwrrrdssss
Calling from the beyond
Whatever it was, it touched E.T.'s healing finger, and caused it to glow.
He healed himself.”
More quotes…