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Labyrinth: A Novel Based on the Jim Henson Film
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Labyrinth: A Novel Based on the Jim Henson Film

(Jim Henson Archive Series)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  3,249 ratings  ·  362 reviews
What happens when you wish for something terrible ... and your wish comes true? Young Sarah is about to find out. Left at home to mind her baby brother, Toby, she finds herself trying to comfort a screaming infant as a wild storm rages about the house. In a fit of temper, she wishes that the goblins would come and take the child away. Unfortunately, they do.

Sarah then
Mass Market Paperback, 183 pages
Published June 1st 1986 by Henry Holt (first published 1985)
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Movie novelizations rarely interest me, but Labyrinth was such an odd, offbeat little film that it ought to have been based on a novel. No screenwriter in Hollywood is this good at tapping into the dusky eeriness at the heart of every good myth. Turns out there is no original book, but this novelization does, in some ways, serve the same function.

The book can be read independently of the movie - I don't recommend that, but it's possible. So for those of you who haven't watched the film:

So a GoodReads friend told me a few months ago they were re-releasing The Labyrinth. I couldn't believe it. After finding out years ago it was out of print, searching, finding it for hundreds of dollars I had given up the hope of reading it.

I finally got it and I was flying high on new book happies for days

Excuse my gushing but here we go.

David Bowe is the Labyrinth to me

I lived on the songs from the movie for months and still adore them today.

Happy times.

Now the book.
With the extras included
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
First I just want to say that the copy I have doesn't have that cover since I have the UK version of the book but I couldn't find that particular one. *sigh* Substitutes. I'll live.

Anyway, as Hollywood is wont to do now, because, apparently, they've smoked their creativity away, and adapt movies from books, it used to be heavily the other way around. I'm not sure how many movie novelizations have been made recently but they used to be very common. Labyrinth was one of them. The person writing
Julie Zantopoulos
This would have had to be a hot steaming pile of you know what to not get 5 stars from me. As it turns out it was wonderful! There were some slight changes from the movie and I really enjoyed them. I specifically enjoyed the different scene through the riddle doors. The Labyrinth is my all time favorite movie and this novelization as well as the drawings and Jim Henson's journal as he plotted out the movie were amazing.

There's something about seeing behind the veil of your favorite movie that
Isa Lavinia
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it

It's perfectly fine to like problematic things, as long as you realise they are problematic, and this is the case.
See, Jareth is my favourite male character but I wouldn't date him - I know better than that. His behaviour was sketchy to say the least, there is the bright point, however, of Sarah realising this and not letting herself fall for him or any of his tricks (oops! spoilers! for anyone who hasn't watched Labyrinth, but if you haven't stop whatever you're doing and go watch it and
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now with all the interest in Bowie and the film Labyrinth I thought it was time to dig out my hardback copy and give it a read, which I can tell you was rather informative.

The book is pretty straight forward, now in situations like this I would say that the book follows the film or visa versa - either way the story would be so mingled (or mangled) that I would not be able to separate them and it would feel one was interfering with the other (missing scenes, differing descriptions and the such
Good complement to the film, which I prefer to this novelisation, weird plastic puppets and all, if only for the dance scene, which is hard to translate into the page. I'm not that much into goblin/girl stories and, when I encounter this premise in retellings, this is my least favourite Beauty & Beast type of pairing, but I liked this one very much because it follows the redemption arc B&B has, with Sarah going from bratty to courageous and risking it to undo the problem she'd caused.
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I think I got this simply to satisfy my obsession with the movie and with David Bowie as Jareth. I will admit that the book has one line at the end that isn't in the movie and woudl have been much better in the movie. It also expounds on Jareth more.

Not bad for a novelization.
Lara Mi

"Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City, to take back the child that you have stolen."

Sarah is an imaginative girl with hopes of becoming an actress like her mother. She feels her stepmother constantly interferes with her goals – especially when she is made to look after her younger stepbrother, Toby. Life is not fair and Sarah knows to complain about it; one night she decides to give into her frustration and to give her
Know what? This wasn't great. But know what else? I don't care, because LABYRINTH.

•I adore Labyrinth•

I bought this because I heard that it elaborated the story behind Sarah's mom. Umm... not really. Just a little bit. With that elaboration, I thought the ending would address that 'mommy issue' again, maybe tie up loose ends, but no. Oh well.

I also bought this, knowing there was a lot of extras at the end. Yes, there was several pages from Jim Henson's notebook, but I didn't find them
Andi Raney
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's sad, but the first time I saw The Labyrinth , I was sixteen. Seems wrong, doesn't it? My parents had never seen it, so when I first watched it, I made them and my younger sisters watch it with me.

I was the only one who feel in love.

For four years, I've held it close to my heart. It's my second favorite (the first being The Goonies ) movie of all time - and then I found out about this book.

Now, I don't own this book; I've looked and looked and looked and nothing. So, I did what any
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been Labyrinth obsessed since I was a little kid, David Bowie obsessed even longer, and a Jim Henson obsessed since birth, basically.

Underground with David Bowie as the Goblin King is one of the fantasy worlds I would leave this reality for in a heartbeat. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend their immortality with this guy?

[image error]


Anyway, I had no way to shell out up to $100 when this book was being sold on Amazon 10 to 15 years ago. Last year, Dragon Con celebrated
Thomas Edmund
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
First up - I have an aversion to 'movie novelizations.' I tend to think that a story is either best told on screen or on page and in general the best way to go is to make movies based on books. (while this is TV, I think 'Bones' the books of the TV series takes the cake as a book based on a TV series based on a book/author)

Anyway, just explaining why I was hesitant to read this one. The person who recommended it promised a proper novel, not just a written description of what happened in the
Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
This book is basically like the movie, except we get to read about the thoughts of the characters from the film. Because of this book, I finally understood what the junk scene in the film meant.
It was junk like everything else there, the litter of a time of her life that she now passionately wanted to leave behind. She knew what the gray despair had been. This room was a prison, and she was her own jailer. And so she had the key to release herself, to go and do the thing that mattered.

Chloe (thelastcolour)
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This novel that is based upon the film 'Labyrinth' starring David Bowie was phenomenal. 'Labyrinth' has been one of my favourite films for years and it was only in the last 6 months or so that I have searched for a copy of this book. This little book is my Holy Grail! But now onto the actual story.

I have always been slightly apprehensive when reading books that are based on films. The writing is usually very poor, with little description and the characters are never fleshed out enough. But this
Avery (ThePagemaster)
As a child, Labyrinth was a movie shown to me by my older brother. It was my first introduction to an actual fantasy story, even before LotR and Harry Potter. The story was SO original and an immediate classic that is still popular in this modern day, as it was back in 1986. When I saw that there was a novelization of it, I just had to have it.

While I was reading, and after finishing the book even, I wanted to withhold my nostalgia from giving this book an automatic five stars because some
This wasn't a bad book, it was just... okay? There were additional scenes and dialogue changes, and while I liked some of them -more info about Sarah's mother, passages from Jareth's perspective- others were just bad. I already complained about it in a status update, but the ballroom scene and the aftermath of the ballroom scene? A mess. I liked that the ending was a little sadder, that party-dance scene always felt kind of strange to me as a kid. The writing style felt stilted and choppy at ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.75 stars

I'm a huge fan of the movie and think I may have gone in with my expectations too high.

Sarah is 15, but reads a lot younger. I wasn't keen on that. Jareth didn't impress me in the book either. The author tried to give depth to the characters and it didn't work in my opinion. Still loved Ludo!!

We follow Sarah through the Labyrinth as we do in the movie. For me, the magic is the movie.

I enjoyed the concept art and notes Henson made when thinking the movie out, but the author didn't
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every part of this book i was singing the movie's soundtrack, so nostalgic.
David Bowie, the goblin king, you always be remembered.
I have been after this book for a good couple of years now, and is proved quite impossible to get for a reasonable price. And it still amazes me how this book is out of print, when The Dark Crystal can go for pennies. Not fair, especially for a major 80s classic like this. Thankfully, after much searching, I found this for a semi-reasonable price on eBay. It's not a price I would be willing to pay again for a single book, considering the original price is 2.50, as listed on the back, and it's ...more
Lynne weir
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goblins, teen-fantasy
Soo sad. Really want to read this yet the only place selling it has used copys for over a hundred pounds!!!! The only chance I have of getting this is if I become very rich. Well Lottery here I come.


Thank goodness for the internet. While searching for information on this book I came across a site that not only told me a bit about the book but also allowed me to read the whole book for free! I usually don’t agree with these sorts of sites as I know most authors struggle making
The movie has a special place in my heart. There was a time in my childhood when there was still cool stuff on TV, and one afternoon I noticed an interesting movie in the schedule. What I saw stayed with me forever. My mom had just baked buns topped with butter, so while I was gobbling up about a seven of those and drinking cold cocoa, I was completely sucked into this odd world of puppet trolls and a strange Goblin king with a seductive voice.

Rewind to year 2016, when the news of David Bowie's
This is a must-have for Labyrinth fans.

It's just beautifully presented: hardcover, maze-patterned endpapers, and appendices reproducing Brian Froud's concept art and Jim Henson's notebook pages brainstorming the story. I do wish they'd put in some color photos from the film, but this does make it seem classier than the average movie tie-in. Story-wise this is just a straight up retelling of the screenplay, though. The writing is merely serviceable, and at times I wondered if someone who hadn't
Mar 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book clearly shows the reason why I usually don't read (direct) novelizations - while reading them I just feel as if I'm reading a more fleshed-out version of the script of the movie which I find dissatisfying.

I liked Labyrinth a lot when I first saw it some years ago and I read the book right after seeing the movie. That probably was my biggest mistake as it follows the trend I mentioned above with only a few additions (which might be a pleasant surprise to some). This probably makes the
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
"Nothing? Nothing! Nothing.. Tra la la?!"

To say I love Labyrinth is a massive understatement.. I have a quote from the film as a tattoo!! So naturally I had to have the book so I could fall in love with it all over again. T didn't disappoint. It was a nice companion to the film, with all the familiar scenes and some extra insight into Jareth and Sarah. And I dare anyone to read it without doing the voices and singing the songs in your head!
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
First of all I want to say that I love the film! That BEING said, I can't absolutely HATE a novelization of it. The book made clearer some ideas and characterizations, and added to the film watching experience.
But lets be honest, the writing was ridiculous.
Penelope (Penelope’s Picks)
I have so much love for this story. So happy that I finally had the opportunity to get my hands on the book!
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the best book ever!
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just really appreciated that there was a bit more between Sarah and Jareth in the book than there was in the movie. So glad to finally have this book!
Heather Withington
I grew up watching the film that this book is based on, and I loved it. It was easily my favorite film and has stuck with me since childhood. Therefore, I was really excited for this book and for the main part I really enjoyed it. I had a silly grin as I read through my favorite scenes and my favorite characters. I also found the extra drawings and notes pages a fascinating addition which I enjoyed looking through.

However, I do have to discuss the ballroom scene in this book, which is the sole
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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)
  • Jim Henson's Storyteller
  • The Dark Crystal
“Just fear me and love me...and do as I say...and I will be your slave.” 47 likes
“Everything. I have done everything you wanted...You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me. I was frightening...I have reordered time...I have turned the world upside down...And I have done it all for you.
I am exhausted from living up to your expectations.”
More quotes…