GODZILLA (HarperPrism novelization)
GODZILLA, also called GODZILLA: The Novelization, is a novel based on TriStar Pictures' GODZILLA. It was written by Stephen Molstad and published by HarperPrism in June 1998.
IS IT THUNDER — OR IS IT FOOTSTEPS?
Ships are disappearing — the ocean boils and churns — seismograph measurements are jumping off the scale. A mysterious wave of destruction is making its way, step by step, from a remote Pacific atoll to the tiny concrete island known as Manhattan!
As the towering terror methodically dismantles the Big Apple, skyscraper by skyscraper, nuclear scientist Nick Tatopolous is called in to do what the combined forces of the U.S. Army and the Air Force can't — Stop GODZILLA!The authorized GODZILLA novelization! All the thrills of the NEW spectacular film from the creators of the smash hit Independence Day.
Differences from the film
- The novelization is presented as a book written by Dr. Niko "Nick" Tatopoulos. Scenes from the film he was not present for largely remain in the story; for the opening nuclear test scene, for instance, he imagines himself as a French scientist witnessing the 1963 blast believed to have mutated Godzilla. Consequently, the monster's original form is never revealed; Nick later describes him as "a hodgepodge of parts from other animals: the head and neck of a crocodile, the brawny rear limbs of a Komodo dragon, the dorsal armor and spindly fingers of an iguana."
- Nick goes on several diatribes early in the book about humanity's destruction of the natural world, as well as the arrogance and disreputable character of the French. However, he demonstrates respect for Philippe Roaché's many talents later in the story.
- Nick states that New York City experienced 23.78 inches of rain during the early summer month of Godzilla's attack, easily breaking the record of 11.98 inches set in 1889.
- Dr. Elsie Chapman is more flirtatious, mostly but not exclusively with Nick.
- Dr. Mendel Craven is a successful author of books about "all the frightening ways humanity could be wiped away into extinction."
- The fishing trawlers that Godzilla sinks are named after three of the Marx Brothers: the Harpo, the Chico, and the Groucho. These names also appear in the first draft of the film's script.
- Nick prefers to call the monster "Gojira," describing "Godzilla" as "nothing but a butchered mispronunciation of the creature's true historical name." He likens it to the many ways his last name has been mispronounced.
- In describing the appeal of the island of Manhattan to Godzilla, Nick remarks that "size does matter," quoting the film's tagline.
- The old fisherman and Nick both speak to Godzilla when they first encounter him.
- Lucy Palotti mistakenly describes Godzilla as a "big ape".
- Godzilla's "power breath" does not ignite when exposed to flame, reflecting the film's screenplay. It became flammable late in post-production to placate outraged fans.
- While searching for a pharmacy, Nick comes upon a street vendor who has already started selling Godzilla merchandise. A similar vendor would appear in the Godzilla: The Series episode "An Early Frost."
- Nick explains that he and Audrey Timmonds met when their campus newspaper assigned her to report on a anti-nuclear rally he organized. She became quite involved in the movement herself, even chaining herself to railroad tracks with him for one protest. At one time, she notes, Nick "practically ran the whole nuclear freeze movement in the state of Ohio[.]"
- The AH-64 Apaches which attack Godzilla during his second battle against the military deal significant damage to him with their guns. When he leaps into the Hudson River, the largest of his dorsal plates instinctively flap like wings.
- Victor "Animal" Palotti convinces Lucy's brother, who works for the Port Authority, to let them back into Manhattan after "ten minutes of furious shouting[.]"
- After Godzilla emerges from the ruins of Madison Square Garden, Nick observes that "[t]he navy's torpedoes had sheared off large patches of his scaly armor[.]"
- Godzilla steps on Sergeant O'Neal's HMMWV twice while chasing the taxi containing Phillippe, Nick, Audrey, and Animal, although the sergeant himself survives.
- Animal repeatedly tempts fate by declaring the taxi has escaped Godzilla; invariably, he renews his attack moments later.
- Spotting a pair of F-18 Hornets flying overhead, Godzilla hesitates before following the taxi onto the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Godzilla manages to evade several of the missiles fired at him by the F-18s even while trapped in the Brooklyn Bridge's suspension cables.
- Nick speculates that other mutations could follow Godzilla, such as giant bees, giant earthworms, or even "a real-life King Kong[.]" Giant bees and a giant worm both appeared in Godzilla: The Series.
- Following Godzilla's death, Audrey becomes a reporter for "one of the major networks" in New York City. Elsie leads the team studying the monster's corpse, with Craven part of her team. He also begins work on a novel which postulates that Godzilla laid eggs on an island in the Caribbean before arriving in New York, tentatively titled Cretaceous-period Park. Nick returns to Ukraine to continue his earthworm study.
- To close the book, Nick describes a "recurring vision" in which he witnesses a Baby Godzilla egg laid outside Madison Square Garden start to hatch.
- This book is dedicated to "Little Bit," the nickname of Elizabeth Olstrom, who Molstad also thanked for assisting with his novelization of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's previous film, Independence Day.
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