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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  267 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
"I speak Spanish to God, French to women, English to men, and Japanese to my horse."
-- Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai. A strange, elusive figure, his name whispered in barrooms and boardrooms, his advice sought by pashas and presidents, his exploits recounted in movies, novels, and comic books that seem somehow more real than life itself.
Buckaroo Banzai. First and for
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 1984)
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(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I *love* the movie, the book, not so much. It varies only slightly from the movie, but the style of writing made it really hard to get through.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
"Buckaroo Banzai" was a light read that entertained at times. The first part of the story is strongest, with a bevy of characters introduced like a series of speed dates, and a dollop of history that adds some mystery to a title character--who is already an enigma. Immediately, I likened Banzai to James Coburn's character Flint: both men are super-intelligent, super-competent, super-charismatic, superheroes of a mortal, if extraordinary, ken.

Sadly, the story that Rauch sets up for Banzai and his
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
May 04, 2015 marked it as filmed
For the first time in nearly twenty years, Pocket Books is proud to present The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. This special edition features a new introduction by the author and a color insert featuring photos and illustration seen here for the very first time!

Willow Redd
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novelizations
Well, this is, by far, the best novelization of a film I have ever read. In the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson, Rauch writes the story from the perspective of Reno, the team chronicler. Using Reno's insights, the world of Buckaroo Banzai is fleshed out in vivid detail as if this is just one of a series of books Reno has released on the adventures of Buckaroo, his Hong Kong Cavaliers, and everyone else at the Banzai Institute.

With elements of classic pulp stories such as Doc Savage
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This isn't a novelization of the film, but rather a work that stands alone as a tribute to the pulp mythos, an update of the pulp philosophy, or perhaps just a loving homage to all of the Kenneth Robesons. It's not a brilliantly written work of high art and literature, but it's sure a whole lot of fun, with many details and additions that didn't make it to the movie. It's a fun and feel-good book, and if you don't agree with me right there on page 66 it says: "Don't be mean," he said. "The fates ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun
This falls under the category of whats wrong with me . 8)
Just had my wife buy this for me for Valentines Day. (She got flowers)
Lynn C-H
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorite books, this story was written from the perspective of Reno, a character who really didn't get that much play in the movie but who in the 'real' universe of Buckaroo Banzai was the chronicler of the group. This is good old-fashioned pulp, full of odd philosophy and daring deeds and adventures that are only hinted at because they're supposedly already in another book. I wish those other books actually existed, I'd happily own the whole collection.
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing

Far more philosophical than any movie novelization has any right to be, but this is no ordinary movie (or novelization, for that matter.) Renders the world of Buckaroo Banzai in even more startling dimension (there's eight of em, ya know) than the movie. Earl Mac Rauch is a blinding bloody genius. If you're a fan of martial arts, rock and roll, espionage, alien invasions, cowboys, and particle physics, this book's for you.
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp
This is pulp fiction with an 80's flavor, with references not mentioned in the film, including more about his paramilitary boy scouts, the Blue Blaze Irregulars, and what he was doing with that watermelon!
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is full of pulpy goodness, making reference to Banzai's many other adventures and in general employing an entirely appropriate over-the-top atmosphere. Definitely recommended if you're a fan of the movie.
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
I assume this is required viewing for all Pynchonophiles and assorted suchnots? Yoyodyne anyone?

But wait, no Yoyodyne in GR?
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Bought and read this when it came out and have read it a handful of times since then. Preposterous premise. Love it! Watch the movie. Read the book. The book is written as though it's an official record kept by one of the Hong Kong Cavaliers. Important quotes:
"Why is there a watermelon there?"
"I'll tell you later."
Alice Lemon
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book, despite being an after-the-fact novelization, made a lot more sense than the movie and seemed better, or at least more able to be followed coherently.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp, read-in-2014
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension is one of my favorite movies, and has been since I first saw it at age 14. I first discovered this novelization maybe 20 years ago, but just couldn't get into it then. Giving it another try now, I find that while the novel isn't nearly as much fun as the film, it does have its own charms.

The story (penned by screenwriter Earl Mac Rauch) is given from the point of view of Reno Nevada, a minor character in the movie. Reno's style is p
Sep 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tie-in
Most of the novelizations I've read aren't awful, really, just horribly uninspired: the author is clearly here to do a job and collect a check, and has no more emotional attachment to the project than a carpenter does when hanging someone's door.

This is different. This is the novel the movie should have been based on. It's too weird to be a novelization. It's told from the perspective of a relatively minor protagonist, Reno Nevada, whose voice is distinctive and unpolished. It's filled with lit
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
You've probably seen the movie. You probably think this is just going to be another ho-hum novelisation, something cheesy and awful and utterly unworth your time.

You are WRONG.

So very, very wrong.

Written in the voice of former think-tank scholar Reno, this is quite possibly one of the freshest sci-fi books I've read in ages. It's a cross between 1930s pulp adventure fiction and Victorian "reportage" fiction - think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle meets Edgar Rice Burroughs. The footnotes alluding to othe
Jim Loter
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
I don't normally read film novelizations, but I have been experiencing some Buckaroo Banzai nostalgia recently and this was sitting on the shelf of my local library and I was about to spend 2 days in the woods with nothing much to do. Given the tongue-in-cheek, self-conscious nature of all things Banzai, the approach taken by the author to write in the voice of a Team Banzai member (Reno) is appropriate. The book's primary value comes from fleshing out of some of the obscure parts of the BB myth ...more
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was... not what I expected. But it's an amazing book! I love the movie and thought this would be a typical adaptation. But it's not. It's told from Reno's POV, with the conceit that he writes all their books (and several are referenced). It's not really a comedy... it's serious science fiction book with some awesome scientific and philosophical ideas. All of the characters - especially Penny - are smarter and more interesting than in the movie. There's a lot of depth here and I wish there W ...more
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: freedom-loving humans and Lectroids everywhere
An insider's account of the astonishing exploits of Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers, who when not being the hardest-rocking syncopated music in Texas or performing life-saving brain surgery, must save the world from the sinister machinations of the shock-addicted Red Lectroids from planet 10 and thwart the Lectroid leader John Whorfin's attempt to steal the Banzai Institute's OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER to escape earth to the 8th dimension and retrieve his murderous Lectroid army. Cover ...more
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of the movie should read the book, which contains even more detail of Earl Mac Rauch's crazy New-Wave tribute to Doc Savage and the pulps by way of comic books, Fu-Manchu and 50's sci-fi. If I recall correctly, he also explained Ronald Reagan's strategy against Russia as it was happening and predicted the cell phone! Wonderful adventure writing!
Duffy Laudick
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I love Buckaroo Banzai since I first saw the movie. This book however is annoying. While the story is roughly them same as the movie, there are additional sideline stories, which I don't mind. I just didn't care for the narration style. It was bouncing around to much for me and I was wanting a more straightforward story telling as it is in the movie.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Horribly overwritten by Banzai's Creator, but it does flesh out the events of the film, and also features a few characters that I wish had made it into the movie as well. Worth reading, but boy was it a chore to get through!
Nov 05, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: novelization
Didn't care much for the movie, but if my friend the publisher loves the novelization, I'll give it a try. Then again, she did love "The Librarian" a lot more than I did too, so our tastes might not entirely overlap...
Julian Kim
A quirky action-adventure story with eccentric characters and a funky background. A nice read for those into slightly surreal comic book hero type of save-the-world stories. Also has lots of cool quotable one-liners.
Apr 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Entertaining enough for what it is, a movie tie in.
At times it gives more background details and others it felt a bit flat but over all, as a fan of the movie and concept, it was well worth getting and reading.
I don't think non-fans or those who haven't seen the movie would enjoy it as much.
Paul Anderson
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the book more than I did the movie- I would have read a series. I just haven't really gotten around to it.
Jun 25, 2008 marked it as to-read
If this book sucks, I may have to hurt a small child. Or myself. What's the difference, really?
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
More than just a novelization of the movie, this book adds a variety of extra details and is told from the perspective of Reno, making it much better than the average movie novelization.
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Great story, great movie. The book, as usual, has a lot more detail than the movie, so it helps to read it... either before watching the movie, or after.
Vince Lamacki
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite movie tie-in novels. Still one of my favorite films. Hat tip to my friend, Paul, for reminding me of this one. "Remember, wherever you go, there you are. "
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“Overhead announcement at psychiatric hospital: Lithium is no longer available on credit. ” 4 likes
“Hey, don't be mean, 'cause remember: wherever you go. . . there you are.” 2 likes
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