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The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson Archive Series)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  544 Ratings  ·  46 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 1,473)
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Quicksilver Quill
Jun 05, 2014 Quicksilver Quill rated it really liked it
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,
May 11, 2015 Misty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
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
Miranda the Gayvenger
I liked this movie a lot as a kid, even though I had no idea what the hell was going on. All of its themes, ideas, and parts of its story went right over my kiddie head.

The novelization looks a tad too dense for me to really want to chop my way through while I have bronchitis and laryngitis, so I'll be saving this for another time. I did read/skim the first 95 pages though and I do like what I've seen so far.

Also, I effing adore Fizzgig.
Clare Neilson
May 05, 2015 Clare Neilson rated it really liked it
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
Mar 13, 2009 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2015 Larissa Glasser rated it really liked it
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 really liked it
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
Audrey Terry
This was everything that a novelization should be for me.
1) It didn't feel like a total rip off of the movie. A lot of time when novels are based on films, they're done so with a ton of copy/paste. I'm fine with some of the dialogue being the same, but oftentimes the plot never goes any deeper than the film did. Not the case with this novel, in it, the reader is given more insight into the lives of both Jen and Kira, and there was a lot of clarification of some of the shadier parts of the film.
Eric Peter
Aug 26, 2015 Eric Peter rated it it was ok
I hate to say it but I gave up on this one after fifty pages. The author is capable but spent more time on his own inventions for the book than on the important moments of the movie. Page after page of made up ritual and language and then the violent dressing down of The Chamberlain is handled in one paragraph. One of the key plot points is tossed out off handedly in order to get back to more Skeksis politics and ritual. After 50 pages (of this 180 page book) I was still in the first 10 or fifte ...more
April Helms
Oct 04, 2009 April Helms rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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.
W. Myers
Sep 25, 2015 W. Myers rated it it was amazing
Growing up (without going through every review, I wonder how many start with 'growing up...), I had too many distractions to worry about reading. Atari 2600, Star Wars, He-Man, Arcade games, Transformers, bike riding, piloting trashed farm equipment as a spaceship, etc.. So, when we just HAD to read books for school, I'd get ones based on films that I'd seen. What I found was so much more insight into the subject that I already loved. Win, win!

This is a great story with intrigue and heart, altho
Jul 11, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
J.N. N. Tomczak
Jul 26, 2016 J.N. N. Tomczak rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I'm still trying to collect my thoughts after reading this, and all I can think is WHY I didn't read this SOONER! Where do I start?

This is a masterpiece. The Dark Crystal and I go way back. It's just one of those childhood memories I can never forget. I loved the movie growing up, and I finally got around to buying the book, which is, in my opinion, better than the movie. But I still LOVE the movie.

For those of you not familiar with The Dark Crystal, here's a synopsis:

The young Gelfling, Jen, al
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
Dec 19, 2014 Becky Frost rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
April 9th, 2016
This movie was and remains one of the most fascinating traumas of my childhood--I've seen it once as a child (or at least the beginning) and it still scares me at 25. Despite that, the few memories I have of the movie are embedded in my brain forever and never ceased to be a source of obviously when I learned about this book's existence, I had to add it to my to-read pile.
Lincoln Wert
Jun 11, 2015 Lincoln Wert rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Sep 29, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
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
Casey Anderson
Alright, so I didn't really like this until about 50% into it. But, then it got good. The book made a lot more sense then the movie. Which I'm going to watch again now. I really want to know more about the Gelflings now. It still could have used some more detail...there was a lot of vagueness.
Sep 05, 2014 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mmm-2014
Beautiful edition! A must read for Henson fans. Love the Henson notes to Smith at the end and of course the Froud illustrations!
Chealsea Reads
One of my all time favorite movies, was delighted to discover it in book form. Absolutely perfect.
Trinity Thatcher
Sep 10, 2015 Trinity Thatcher rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-dark-crystal
This is a good book that puts a good spin on a fiction book.
Nov 04, 2015 Malea rated it it was amazing
Made more sense than the movie.
Cynthia Scott
A nice read. There was greater incite to the characters. I kind of wished there was more story to tell though.
Jan 05, 2015 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy
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.
Nov 13, 2014 A. E. S. rated it really liked it
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!
Jan 13, 2014 Karla rated it it was ok
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
Sep 02, 2014 Tiffany Robbins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: basement
This book follows the movie so well. It adds a lot of depth and detail to an already brilliant story.
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Other Books in the Series

Jim Henson Archive Series (3 books)
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