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- Hardcover: Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
- Author: James Luceno
- Publisher: DK CHILDREN
- Pages: 144 pages
- Price: $24.99
INDIANA JONES: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE (Hardcover)
The book is packed with details.
By Robert T. Trate
May 14, 2008
INDIANA JONES: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE (Hardcover) by James Luceno
© DK Publishing/ Lucasfilm
Author James Luceno has scoured the Earth, well Lucasfilm, Marvel and Dark Horse Comics, to bring Indiana Jones fans a guide that is worth reading from cover to cover. Treating Indiana Jones as a real person, Luceno looks at his history, chronologically encompassing the entire Indiana Jones legend.
The book is packed with details. It includes Indy’s gun, a 455 Webley and its actual history of the weapon; timelines that date all the people who touched upon Indiana Jones’s life from November 11, 1872 to the summer of 1957; the name of the giant diamond from the opening of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom that Lao Che exchanged for Nurhachi. You will also learn the significance of Belloq’s ceremonial gown at the end of Raider’s of the Lost Ark. All of these details and more are now at your finger tips with brilliant pictures and comic book images filling every inch of the page. Each time you look back at the same page you find another bit of information you never knew or completely forgot about.
The best part of the entire book is the topographical maps. Scale and scope are now revealed so that when you look at the Well of Souls you will not only see its size but its location in the entire excavation. Pankot Palace has such a map but also another that places the palace as if it were the peak of an ant hill revealing the Thuggee’s vast network of mines. The best little detail was learning of the Knights’ quarters from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
For fans of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles the Ultimate Guide is really a first documentation of the series. Young Henry Walton Jones Jr.’s life is explored and exposed so that even the new fan will have an understanding of how this young boy became Indiana Jones. From his early adventures to the war years and even Indy’s foray into show business the details illustrate how remarkable this man’s life was.
The downside Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide is that in treating Indiana Jones as a real person all of the art work, comics, locations and actors go unaccredited. For example, knowing that it is Jim Steranko’s art work on the opening page is my privilege. Not everyone would know that Steranko did a lot of the pre-character establishing pieces much in the same vein Ralph McQuarrie did for the first Star Wars. However, The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films will reveal the people behind the art and more.
Since Luceno left out all those details I wondered why he included separate chapters for movie posters, toys, comics and video games. It takes the reader out of the fantasy that Indy is a real person, something Luceno to this point accomplished brilliantly. Luceno takes it another step by giving yet another time line of actual events that went into the making of the four films and the TV series. Perhaps this would have warranted its own book? In the long run it does really matter to the Indiana Jones fan, making Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide a must have.
Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide is the perfect thing to treat yourself with if action figures and movie posters have long since passed you by. The book is an incredible journey into the life of a man synonymous with adventure.