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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  11,818 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Close Encounter of the First Kind: Sighting of a UFO

Close Encounter of the Second Kind: Physical evidence

Close Encounter of the Third Kind: Contact

Earth's greatest adventure had begun. The world was being readied for...Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It meant the beginning of the most dramatic event in the history of the world. It will lead to the inescapable conclusio
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 1978 by Dell (first published January 1st 1977)
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,818 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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James Caterino
“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was like a quasi-religious out of body experience for me on that Thanksgiving weekend back in 1977. I picked up this book the same weekend thinking it would be impossible to recreate the experience in fictional form. But this novelization—written by the man himself—comes pretty damn close. Of course, it is impossible to capture the visual grandeur and wonder of this trans-formative film, not to mention the soaring dramatic beauty of John William's masterful s ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Basically like reading the movie. I enjoyed it despite the bad writing, but I don't know that I'd really recommend it to someone.
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, owned, spanish
Loved the story —just like the film, except for a few details—, hated the Spanish translation. But, well, it's a book from 1978 that I found in my grandparents' house and that you cannot even buy anymore, so who am I to complain.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whether you’ve seen the film or not, I highly recommend finding a copy in a second hand book shop, or your gran’s attic. As a sci-fi lover myself, I couldn’t put it down. Just a fantastic classic plot, which I can’t find fault in.
Saskia (Smitie)
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't see the movie, so I didn't have any reference. The book was a bit boring, but the ending was unexpected.
B. Jay
Jun 07, 2011 rated it liked it
A straightforward adaptation of Spielberg's own screenplay for the masterful movie, Steven does little to improve on the original. The format does allow for some leisurely reflection on the UFO / Bermuda Triangle phase America was enamored with in the seventies, which had as much or more to do with the creation and popularity of Close Encounters as that other crazy popular sci-fi movie that came out a year earlier. Reading it in novel form also gives you additional time to wonder at the characte ...more
Aug 26, 2016 marked it as dnf
DNF at 48%

I just couldn't get into the writing style. It's obvious based on what I've read that Steven Spielberg is a fantastic director, but the prose of the novelization just didn't flow right and it made this book a chore for me to read. Descriptive imagery seemed like non sequiturs and I generally wasn't a fan of the lack of non-"bitchy" or weak female characters. I thought that it would be an interesting experience to read this book before I watched the film but clearly, I should always sta
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Close Encounter of the Third Kind, written and directed by Steven Spielberg
8 out of 10

If you are of the opinion that intelligent beings, civilizations might exist on other planets, in far corners of the universe, then the idea of Close Encounters of the Third Kind is not so ridiculous, impossible or both.

Nevertheless, there are passages that even for a firm believer in extraterrestrial beings and their haunting of various places on this planet might seem preposterous and badly presented.
For thi
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I saw the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind for the first time about two months ago, and I remember wondering if there was a book (being an avid reader, this is usually a question I always have after watching a movie). After some research, I found that there was a Close Encounters of the Third Kind book. So, I added to my "to be read" list and went on with my life. Earlier this week, I was shelving books at the library when I stumbled upon a copy of the book. I was ecstatic and couldn't w ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars are given to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" written by Steven Spielberg...basically if you have seen the movie, you have read the book. The publisher was Columbia Pictures so I have to imagine that Spielberg was writing directly from the script, notes, storyboards, etc....and having directed the film doesn't hurt either. It is such a wonderful film that the novel is just as wonderful an experience. There are a few or two adult moments...and a short epilogue from Dr. ...more
Nathan Mayer
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent but only because the book follows the movie exactly. My rating is more for the movie than the book. Often, books deviate from their on-screen translations, but this was practically word for word the movie. I've loved the movie since I was a little kid and found the book, excitedly thinking it might be different from the movie. Nope. Exactly the same. But that's ok because it's still a great story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and, once I was finished, it made me want to watch the m ...more
Jason W.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I'll be honest. I haven't seen the movie in quite some time. After reading the novelization of it, I'm definitely going to watch it again. The story was even better than I remember it! Also, reading a story based in the late seventies was a treat with some of the references in the book. I would highly recommend this book if you enjoyed the movie!
Freesiab (Bookish Review)
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’m not sure if the book came before or after the film but if you liked the movie you’ll enjoy the book. They are pretty much the same. It was well written, very tense and exciting. It did seem to miss the awe of the movie though. Still a fun and easy #scifi read when you need a fix.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was surprisingly good. I saw the movie years ago, even bought the book at a garage sale, but never took the time to read it because I didn't like the movie. I'm glad I finally decided to read some of my old, unread books. This was much much better than the movie to me.
Bethany Jacobs LibraryOfBeth
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I can’t believe I haven’t seen this movie, so it was fun to have a chance to read the book first, even if it was written after the movie. This book is basically Spielberg writing out the movie moment for moment. Can’t wait to go watch the movie now:).
David Luna
Having never seen the movie I had no idea what I was getting into! This book explores humans and their first interaction with terrestrial life and how one experience can bring multiple people together!
Wouter van Halen
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: english, bookshelf, sci-fi
The book is a nice expansion to the movie, to read about the thoughts the characters were having during some of the more intense moments. I'm not sure if the book would work as well as a stand alone novel, but for fans of the movie it's a fun read.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
writing was a little off but the story moved just fine. hated the ending. wanted more.
Sean Harding
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Whilst it may be a good movie, it does not mean it is a good book. It felt very stilted and it did not flow., pretty ordinary and without the movie forgettable.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
While not a fan of the movie, I thought that maybe the book would be more interesting... I was wrong.
Marcia Chocinsky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Colfer
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it
This famous book I found in a collection of free books from our nice used bookstore that closed a few months ago. Given the fame of the movie (which I also saw, years ago), I expected a better read than I got. For the first 1/3 I was just about to stop reading. It wasn't at all clear what was going on (to me---though given that I'd seen the movie, I had some idea). However, after that, the story got much more engrossing. By the end, I was quite interested. So...I can't give it rave reviews, but ...more
Joe  Noir
A pretty good novelization of the movie. Possibly not by Spielberg himself (Alan Dean Foster, perhaps?). This plot is sort of like that of all three movie versions combined, with a couple of additional scenes. In 1980, When the "Special Edition" of the film was released, a "Special Edition" of this book was also released. It's okay, it's entertaining, and an easy fast read, but really not different from the classic landmark film in any appreciable way. Most of the scenes are best appreciated unf ...more
Alex Allred
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Let me be clear: the movie is fantastic. The book, however, is almost a word-for-word reproduction of the script. In fact, I would not be surprised at all to learn that some ghost writer of middling talent converted the screenplay into novel form. The book does absolutely nothing to expand on the film, nor is the writing particularly inspired or vivid. Most of the time the book is better than the film. This is the exception. Just watch the film and enjoy the good acting and fantastic special eff ...more
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the novelization of one of my favorite movies. I rather like novelizations, I like getting that little bit of extra insight about characters and stories. This one however, followed the movie exactly, with no extras. Honestly, I would rather watch the movie, the amazing visuals and music are a large part of what I love in the movie, and the descriptions of the scenes pales in comparison to seeing them.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
There is a certain point in time where a story supersedes the mechanics. Spielberg is good for a story, and while the read was fast, it was very much like reading a screenplay. Everything was very simplistic and matter-of-fact.

If I had not seen the movie (in an outdoor theater on a cold and windy night), I doubt I would have stuck with reading the book. The nostalgia brought back from my movie experience definitely lent credit and rigor to my slog through the narrative.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
I can see why Spielberg is in the movies. This book is one case where the movie is better, mostly because the narrative was simply what happened and didn't express the characters thoughts or feelings as well as they could be expressed in the medium of movies. It was still good though, probably a 2 star more because of my expectations being high. If I had known nothing about this book it would have been maybe a 3 star, a good story but it could have been told better.
James Cardona
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Based upon the movie, this book is basically a telling of what happened in the movie with little more added. I don't see what the point was here. When we read books we're looking for something more, the inner voice of the characters, the internal struggle that can't been seen on screen. There's little of that here. Although the movie was great and the book then is pretty good, I'd suggest just watching the movie.
Erik M
Apr 12, 2013 rated it liked it
A great novel can make a great screenplay, but far less the reverse. Much like watching a movie based on a read book, reading the novelization of a movie you have seen forces a comparison. In this case, Spielberg put his heart and craft onto the screen, and a thin, flat version on paper. Had he officially handed the novelization over to someone else (did he use a ghostwriter?), am established sci-fi writer, the book could have been every bit as strong as the movie.
Jacki Dawson
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
To be completely honest I thought this book was hard to read.
In its defence, it was written clearly and was obviously taken directly from the movie, however the feel of the first two-thirds seemed to take a lot of brain power to process; in contrast the last third was a roller coaster ride which I thoroughly enjoyed!

In all, I think I'm ready to watch the film (I hear it's 3 hours long), but probably won't read the book again. Sorry Spielberg.
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Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Spielberg is a three-time Academy Award winner and is the highest grossing filmmaker of all time; his films having made nearly $8 billion internationally. Forbes magazine places Spielberg's net worth at $3 billion. As of 2006, Premiere listed him as the most powerful and influential figure in the motion picture ind ...more
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