King Kong (2005 novelization)
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"With vaudeville in its death throes, actress Ann Darrow finds herself out of a job in Depression-era New York. But her luck changes when she meets Carl Denham -entrepreneur, raconteur, adventurer, and filmmaker- a man struggling to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry. Bold, ebullient, and charismatic, Denham leads Ann, along with famed playwright Jack Driscoll and the crew of the tramp steamer Venture, on a faraway filmmaking expedition, to the Indian Ocean and the legendary, primordial jungles of Skull Island. It is here that Denham hopes to capture on film the waning undiscovered wonders of the world -wonders available to anyone for the price of admission."
"What they all find instead are living nightmares and deadly perils in a hostile place that time forgot ... where a director is willing to risk everything for the sake of his film ... where a writer will test his physical courage and his heart ... and where a beautiful actress will forge an unshakable bond with the most fantastic creature ever to walk the earth...."
In the depths of the Great Depression, New York is an unforgiving place. Vaudeville performer Ann Darrow finds solace on the stage at the Lyric theater until it is shut down without notice. With encouragement from her friend and fellow performer Manny, and nothing left to lose, Ann sends an audition resume to the producer of the play Isolation by Jack Driscoll. Opting to buy food instead of paying rent, she finds herself hopeless when her letter is returned unopened. She tracks down the producer, who reveals the play had already been cast, and out of guilt or compassion, he directs her to a burlesque theater for work. Elsewhere, struggling filmmaker Carl Denham is silently outraged by his unappreciative financiers. On learning that they plan to scrap his film for stock footage, he and his assistant Preston make arrangements to escape with their footage, and a map to a legendary island. However, Preston informs him that they have lost their lead actress, and Denham is forced to search for a new one. No casting agency can produce an actress on such short notice, and he is forced to search for looks alone. During his search he is enticed by Ann, whom he sees storming away from the burlesque theater. Ann steals and apple from a street vendor, having no money and nothing to eat, and when she is caught Denham buys her way out of the situation and buys her dinner. He attempts to get her to sign on, and she intends to accept his charity and to refuse. However, Denham reveals that Driscoll was the film's writer, and she accepts. They hurry to the Venture, where Preston informs Denham that the police were coming for them, and Denham is able to convince Captain Englehorn to leave the port early. However, Denham's lifelong friend Driscoll has come aboard to deliver his unfinished script. However, Denham tricks him into staying aboard too long, and the ship sets sail. Over the next few days, the sailors and film crew get comfortable in their surroundings as Driscoll and Darrow attempt to cope with their growing feelings for one another. Jack continues writing a comedy play titled Cry Havoc for Ann in his enamoured state, and shows it to her. This discussion results in the two of them share a kiss. However, Preston discovers Denham's map to Skull Island, and tells the sailors, who head him off in the mess. Sailors Hayes and Lumpy tell of a sailor they rescued seven years back who warned them of a fog-covered island on which there was an ancient wall built to keep out the vicious god "Kong". Before they could get more information from him, they found he had committed suicide. Despite their attempts to warn of the dangers of Skull Island, Denham remains unimpressed, and the ship presses forward. Denham and Preston share heated words regarding his refusal to tell the film crew about their true destination before Captain Englehorn turns the ship around after receiving word from the bank that Denham's check was not going to be honored. Denham goes to confront the Captain, who remains planted in his decision to turn Denham in at port in Rangoon. However, as Hayes tries to navigate, they find their compass is acting up, and when he tries to check the stars, the fog is too thick to see them through. Englehorn orders a lead line to check the depth as he turns the ship around, only to find that they are shallowing. From up in the crow's nest, Jimmy cries out that he sees a giant wall.
Weapons, Vehicles and Races
Differences from the Film
- The novel expands greatly on the characters' backgrounds, and fills in much of the time spent en-route to Skull Island.
- In line with the prequel novel, Denham's cameraman has a prosthetic leg which is not mentioned in the film.
- Lumpy is explained to hold many positions on the Venture beyond just the cook, including being the ship's barber, physician, veterinarian, and dentist.
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- Christopher Golden. King Kong. Pocket Star Books. p. 64. 2005. ISBN: 1416503919.