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The Dark Crystal

(Jim Henson Archive Series)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,033 ratings  ·  113 reviews
"L’Apocalypse est imminente. Le Cristal, brisé, est au cœur d’une querelle immémoriale entre les mystiques urRus et les perfides Skeksès. Tous les oracles concordent : la prochaine Conjonction marquera inévitablement la fin du monde tel qu’il existe. La tension est à son comble quand le grand urSu, ainsi que l’Empereur Skekès, trépassent…
Jen, l’unique survivant du peuple d
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2019 by Ynnis Edition (first published January 1st 1982)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,033 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Michael Fierce
Read with my good friend Cillian aka Tsunami aka Sharknami on a buddy read that began 09/06/19. ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dark Crystal by A.C.H. Smith is the second title taken from the films of Jim Henson’s films. Like Labyrinth I remember the film although over the years certain details and scenes became hazy (come on it was 1986).

Like Labyrinth this was a story that dramatically departed from the world of Henson’s Muppets which he is most famous for, in fact Henson made a point of experimenting and challenging the ways stories were told. So as different as it may have been I think given the opportunity we co
Netflix is bring this out as a series!!!!!

The trailer looks AMAZING!!!

Omg I need to read this! I am so glad I have a copy!
Awesome-sauce buddy read with my good friend Michael starting 09/05/19! ...more
"I was born under a shattered sky," he finally got out.


Dark fairy tale about a boy raised by mistics, a land tainted , and a prophecy because there is always one , innit?

This is a novelization of the film "The Dark Crystal"(1982), a wonderful film to watch made with animatronics - tech that I'm most fan.

The book did not give more details that the film, though after all the years I just remember the basics : (view spoiler)
Brandon St Mark
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Really great adaptation! I still like the movie more, but all the same this was good.
Francesca Calarco
Growing up, Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal was one of my favorite movies, hands down. Now that I am a weird kid who has grown up into an even weirder adult, with the new Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance I have found myself re-immersed in this unprecedented, fantastical world. This includes reading the Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: The Novelization.

Ultimately, this book should be read after seeing the original film, as it is a novelization that enhances established information,
Rebecca McNutt
I remember seeing the adaptation of this as a little kid, what nightmare fuel! But The Dark Crystal is still a beautiful story with good morals.
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
As a child of the 80s I love all things Jim Henson. This has rolled over into adulthood.

I came across this particular paperback @ The Booklegger in Huntsville. It was in immaculate condition; if a little stiff and dry. Attempting to read this 30+ year old paperback has led it to begin falling apart. The cover just decided to abandon the rest of the book. So now it is equal parts Scotch tape and book.

I believe this movie novelization is my first. I've seen them around for years, but always wonder
Quicksilver Quill
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed! I didn't expect much from a book made from a movie, but it was very well done. It read kind of like a fairytale. Would have liked a little more world building, but definitely worth a read! Also like seeing a fantasy book that's short, it's not something often seen in this genre.
Pretty Peony
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Read this book to my daughter at bedtime. She really enjoyed it and is ready to watch the movie.

I watched the movie as a kid and loved it. When I found out that it was made into a book, I had to get my hands on it. I tried to read it a few months back but couldn't get into. It wasn't unil a few weeks ago that I thought it would be a great idea to read it to my daughter. I tried to have her watch the movie a few years back but she was too young then and got scared of the skeksis. Reading it and h
Josh reading
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wondrous imagination Jim Henson and his team of creators had! I first fell in love with the Dark Crystal many years ago and wanted to revisit this story prior to the release of the Netflix series Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance. This novelization by A.C.H. Smith wonderfully expands on Henson’s vision of the world of Thra and a quest to heal that which was broken. I love the nature of the hero’s quest, to right a wrong of a previous generation (in this case) falls to both a young boy and g ...more
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
Jeff Bailey
Jul 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sean Kennedy
I love the film, but don't think the novelisation really lives up to the it. There are some nice bits of background that let you know a little more about Jen, but I would have liked a little more about Kira.
Lee Osborne
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never been a big fan of fantasy, but the original Dark Crystal film was a real standout memory of my childhood. It was released when I was eight years old, and I was obsessed with it for years. I just loved the alien world it created, and all the strange creatures and odd goings-on. It was an extraordinary creation, visually stunning and a fantastic piece of world-building. However, I'm the first to admit that there's a lot of flaws in the film, but more on that in a minute.

I was absolutely
No one hardly ever says this about anything ever, but: the movie was actually much better.

Yes, the movie was there first and it shows, since it's so much more atmospheric, has better characterizations and in general the story seems to work better as a visual medium.
This, even if it wasn't bad, lacked the charme of the film for me. I also wasn't sure if I liked the writing style. I thought it was well written at first but after some time I got tired of this style, it's much too needlessly complic
Way higher level of reading than is really necessary. Is this just how books were written? So that you constantly need a thesaurus or dictionary? I'm pretty well-read and still there were parts where I had to look words up. Context clues didn't even help.

Labyrinth is next and since it's the same author I guess I know what to expect.
Brenna Sydel
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't enjoy The Dark Crystal? Novelization of it does take away some of the magic elements of it as you clearly have to explain rather than show. But it's a fairly quick read. In fact, it feels hurried which does make sense given all you have to squeeze into this. Great art in here - behind the scenes/mock ups - and you still see some of the scenes from the film in your head as you read this.

Good alternative to the movie; even better supplement.
David Scott
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than the movie. The puppets are so stiff and lifeless. The book adds much needed character, detail, and nuance that the movie is missing.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
A rather poorly written fantasy novel, The Dark Crystal: The Novelization sucks all the magic and wonder out of the beloved Jim Henson film. When the Great Conjunction of Thra’s three suns approaches, a young boy named Jen is tasked with a mission to find a shard that splintered off of the Crystal and return it so that the Crystal can be healed. Fantasy often benefits from a certain ambiguity, and A.C.M. Smith’s attempt to explain the cultures and histories of the different races of Thra (partic ...more
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 recei
Clare Neilson
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
April Helms
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Edit: This fulfills the category for reading a book I've read before (could also be used for fantasy). The Dark Crystal is a novelization of the Jim Henson movie. The movie was one of my favorites a
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Eric Peter
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
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.
Larissa Glasser
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jonathan Maas
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great small companion piece to a great movie. The one thing I like about A.C.H. Smith's style, is that he sticks to the source material, and shows it as it is - very straightforwardly. Now don't get me wrong, I loved Alien Resurrection by A.C. Crispin, and her style is to read into the characters. She has great, great sections where she goes into the mind of a Xenomorph.

But sometimes, I just want the movie in book form, and this one delivers.
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Anthony Charles Hockley Smith (born Anthony Charles Smith) is a British novelist and playwright.

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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