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The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson Archive Series)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  426 ratings  ·  34 reviews
THE DARK CRYSTAL reveals the coming-of-age of the last male Gelfling on the planet of Thra. From his quiet, dreamy existence in the secluded valley with the ponderous but cerebral urRu, Jen must suddenly depart on a Quest whose details are not fully explained to him. This gentle boy leaves his comfort zone in a desperate attempt to save his planet from another miillenium o ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 186 pages
Published October 1st 1982 by Henry Holt & Co (first published January 1st 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,136)
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Clare Neilson
Another world, another time...

The 1980s were taking the effects of the 70s and perfecting them. Matt paintings, model work, creature creativity were all present in the film. This adaptation is incredibly beautiful and even includes some of the deleted scenes such as the funeral precession of both leaders. Like the vast majority of adaptations the writer has to work with a rough cut of the film and so there will be differences.

Jen is alone. The last of his race he must leave the peace and safety
Quicksilver Quill
Inevitably the book will be compared to the film, and that's tough competition--especially for the nostalgic ones among us! But I would say that Smith did a good job translating the film into fiction. He does have a powerful descriptive ability and some of his choice of words left me pondering the paucity of my own vocabulary. But it's nicely written and it's quite a short novel, so things keep moving.

A minor complaint might be the extensive use of foreign languages in the book for the Skeksis,
The Dark Crystal

A.C.H. Smith, Jim Henson, Brian Froud

Read 1/7/15

Rating out of 5: 5

Before you read to far, you should know that I don't do Synopsis type reviews - if you want a synopsis then you can go read the synopsis. What I do here is give my opinion of the book. **Spoilers may happen, but aren't likely.

I grew up watching The Dark Crystal and The Labyrinth by Jim Henson. These movies and characters were my friends and I knew every line by heart. I hadn't read the novelizations until I receive
Mar 13, 2009 Vanessa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy, sci-fi, movie adaptations, Jim Henson, 80's films, Brian Froud...
Recommended to Vanessa by: my bookshelf
This was a surprisingly well-written movie adaptation. I picked it up to read because I have lost a large portion of my book collection in recent moves to random boxes taking up space in my mother's garage, not expecting it to be anything more than a kid's fantasy book. Despite having read The Hobbit in the fifth grade, I will say that the vocabulary level in this novelization was far beyond what I would normally expect for a book supposedly targeted towards children (perhaps because it was writ ...more
Larissa Glasser
This was enjoyable. This was one of the first darkish fantasy films I remember seeing as a young, impressionable kid and many of the concepts stuck with me (especially the urSkeks, entities split into violent and peaceful selves). The actions and description in the book seemed a bit compressed and even truncated towards the end, but I figure that was in the interest of achieving a faster, climactic pace. The novelization provides backstory, layers of description, political rivalries between the ...more
Jeff Bailey
Jul 25, 2007 Jeff Bailey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy Junkies,Henson Fans,Nostalgic 80's kids,hero-quest stories lovers
I picked up this book after recalling the 1982/83 film inolving Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The book is a novelization of this film and therefore, as novelizations go, ran the risk of being lame. Although I agree with other reviewers, that the books scientific and technical explanations of the visual aspects of the story fall short of the wonder of their portrayal on the big screen, I was impressed by A.C.H. Smith's word choices and his addition of some political drama that I don't recall being in ...more
April Helms
I remember reading this as a child, and loving it. I was--no, am -- a big fan of the movie. I recently broke down and bought a copy, and enjoyed it as much -- if not more. I love the "behind the scenes" stuff -- especially the Skeksis politics -- added to the novel, which really compliment the movie.
First of all, the novelization of The Dark Crystal is true to the movie (as expected). Where it departs somewhat is that it imparts more about of the meanings behind some of the ceremonies (urRu and Skekses) as well as providing a bit more background/motivation detail for Jen.

As an added bonus, this version includes some of Jim Henson's revision notes to Smith. You could tell that Henson actually cared about the novel and was eager to make it "true" to the film without stifling the writer's ima
Karl Orbell
It's one thing when books are converted to films; generally you should read the book first, then the film is fine. But when films are converted to books, it doesn't generally work; this is no exception.

The film is one of my all-time top five, indeed I tend to think of it as my favourite ever film; it's a masterpiece. So I was fairly enthused to read the book. The story is mostly faithful to the film, more a case of adding in extra detail where it differs. One might think that was a good thing, c
Matteo Pellegrini
"Unico e irripetibile" è stato definito dal New yorl Times il film Dark Crystal cha ha vinto il premio al Festival del Film Fantastico di Avoriaz e che compare ora sui nostri schermi. È opera di J. Henson e F. Oz, creatori dei famosi Muppets, i pupazzi amati da milioni di telespettatori di tutto il mondo.È costato cinque anni di lavorazione.È prodotto da Gary Kurtz, produttore di Guerre Stellari e L'impero colpische ancora. Ecco il romanzo del film, che Urania è lieta di presentare ai suoi letto
Becky Frost
You know....this was written first by the author that did the collaboration with Jim Henson for Labyrinth and it shows. This book does not flow as smoothly as Labyrinth does with the movie, but shows moments of collaboration on details that were being worked out for the movie and then eventually the book. The script for the movie changed repeatedly, and this novel still contains the portions that never made it into the movie, and for that, I loved this book so much. To me, this book made the mov ...more
Lincoln Wert
Not bad, not great. It's been so long since I've seen the movie, but I think it matches up pretty close to what you see on the screen. It would have been nice to expand a bit more.

Descriptions were surprisingly lacking I found that it was hard to visualize what was going on.
I Loved this book when I read it as a child. It was one of the first books that I read of my own volition, so it holds a special place in my heart. I had seen this book in my elementary school library for what seemed like a very long time before I worked up the courage to tackle such a huge novel. (I was probably in 2nd or 3rd grade. I was always fascinated by the front cover. When I decided to check it out, the librarian said that I could just keep it (bless her heart) and thus began my reading ...more
Beautiful edition! A must read for Henson fans. Love the Henson notes to Smith at the end and of course the Froud illustrations!
One of my all time favorite movies, was delighted to discover it in book form. Absolutely perfect.
It went pretty much along with the movie in which I love both.
This was such an enthralling adaptation of one of my favorite movies of all time! I grew up watching this movie and its novelization did not come short of my expectation! I definitely recommend this to anyone who particularly enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction!
A. E. S.
Believe it or not, I actually liked The Dark Crystal a bit better than Labyrinth. This book/movie is set ENTIRELY in a fantasy setting where Labyrinth includes settings that are rather mundane and familiar (Sara doesn't get along with her stepmother, annoying baby half-brother, etc.) I found Crystal refreshing in that sense. A great addition to a good fantasy collection!
This has been on my bookshelf for a long time. Not sure why. Although I'm now inspired to watch the movie again.
Tiffany Robbins
This book follows the movie so well. It adds a lot of depth and detail to an already brilliant story.
I liked the book because of the insights into the characters. Jens thoughts made him seem more real than the wooden puppet in the movie. But the explinations of the world and the crystal were convoluted and required rereading sometimes. In the movie explinations were much simpler.
Heh. In fifth grade I actually wanted to do the effects of crystal fragmentation on light properties as my science fair project because of this book. (For the curious, I wound up growing beans in peat moss instead... nowhere near as exciting). Nice background on the film.
I loved how this book took the movies story and added just enough extra backgroud without being to overwhelmingly different.Plus it was an actually good book based on a movie(most suck)so, way to go A.C.H Smith!!
One of My favorite Movies, one of my favorite books which gives great insight behind character motivations in the movie. Good luck finding a copy of this out of print book and NO you cannot have mine!
Clever story, mesmerising fantasy that is now hailed as a classic aided by the film of Jim Henson fame.
Well worth reading, especially if you also enjoyed the movie as this copy is a movie tie in.
Sep 22, 2012 Mozette marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Yordan Zhelyazkov
Incredibly cute novelization, I was left very pleasantly surprised by it. I should definitely free some time for the movie as well. :)
Luca Conti
It went deep into some amazing aspects of the DC world. I found this a fascinating universe, and one of the best fantasy I've seen
Michael SaharaFrog
Ok story. At times felt very much like the narrator was describing the action he/she was watching on a movie screen.
This book is more like a trek through a college thesaurus than a book based on a children's movie.
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Other Books in the Series

Jim Henson Archive Series (3 books)
  • Labyrinth: A Novel Based on the Jim Henson Film
  • Jim Henson's Storyteller
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