Novelisations of popular films are one of the many merchandising tactics of marketers, and let’s face it, as far as quality literature goes, film novelisations are never really that great. But that’s not to say they’re not enjoyable or entertaining, or both. And The Dark Knight Rises, Greg Cox’s adaptation of Christopher Nolan’s latest episode in his blockbuster Batman series, is both.
The Dark Knight Rises novel is essentially the same plot as the movie – as you would expect. Most of the dialogue is lifted directly from the film, however there are a few little differences.
The novel goes into a bit more detail about the inner workings of side characters, something that wasn’t really possible not even that necessary for the film, but it does add a nice bit of rounding out. A lot of Bruce Wayne’s steely silences too are filled in with inner monologue. I guess if they weren’t it would make for a very sparse read.
Fans of Nolan’s Batman films who were disappointed by the movie’s complete ignorance of the Joker will find a treat in these pages.While Nolan has spoken at length as to why he did not reference the Joker in his latest film, and that’s to be respected, it is fun to see the character get a bit more attention in this book.
Greg Cox is no stranger to media tie-in novels, having written a whole host of Star Trek novels, as well as writing novelisations for Alias, Iron Man, Underworld and a bunch of others, some of which he has also picked up a few awards for. As mentioned above, no one is going to expect fine literature from a media tie-in novel, but Cox isn’t such a bad writer. There were a few instances of completely overblown description and exposition, but if you can get beyond that, The Dark Knight Rises is a largely entertaining and well paced read.
Media tie-in novels tend to operate in the reverse to every other film-novel relationship, and this is no different. Experience the original text first. If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises, watch it first. Most film watchers will be satisfied enough with the movie – it is a brilliant one after all – but die-hard fans of The Dark Knight should get a kick out of the novel.
This is definitely a book for the higher levels of Batman fandom, and those who enjoyed the film should like the book. Not a Batman enthusiast, nor a fan of the film? Then probably look elsewhere for your reading.
The Dark Knight Rises is published by Titan Books.