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The Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom novel is the 1984 adaptation of the Temple of Doom film, penned by James Kahn and published by Ballantine Books. The book, along with the novelizations of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was republished in 2008 by Del Rey.

Publisher's summary[]

The swashbuckling archaeologist Indiana Jones is back in a dazzling new adventure!

The time is 1935.

Through a series of misadventures in Shanghai—and a narrow escape from death—Indiana Jones finds himself in a remote village in India. A mysterious old shaman tells him his arrival has been foreseen—and that he and his companions are destined to save the villagers.

So begins the most daring—and dangerous—quest of Indiana Jones' career!

Plot summary[]

Differences from the film[]

While the book's story is the same as the film's, the novel was adapted from the screenplay which did not entirely reflect the final product onscreen. Some differences include:

  • Willie Scott and Short Round have detailed back-stories.
  • The novel describes Indy as having a gray fedora, not a brown one.
  • The scene in the novel in which Indy is attacked by the Thuggee assassin, the assassin is described as being large (much like the Chief Guard), when in the film the assassin and Indy both appear to share the same height.
  • The scene where Indy tries to shoot the two Thuggees on the mountain is not in the novelization.
  • Many graphic scenes that aren't shown in the film, such as Indy and Shorty being covered by flying human skins, are in the book.
  • Willie escapes the guards that ambush her and Short Round, and makes it back to her room, where she tells Chattar Lal and Blumburtt about the temple. When Indy — under the sleep of Kali Ma — comes in and tells them that everything is fine, Blumburtt returns to his room, while Lal and Indy capture Willie and take her back to the temple.
  • Chattar Lal dies in the book, while he lives in the movie.
  • While Short Round is digging, a guard gets burned by lava and is freed from the Black Sleep of the Kali Ma (while also giving Short Round the idea of how to save Indy in the process), but is dragged away to drink the Blood of Kali again.
  • The Thuggee Slave Driver's death is different. In the film Indy beats him up until his sash gets caught in the rock crusher, while in the book he tried to grab Indy, only to lose his balance and get his sash caught in the rock crusher.
  • Mola Ram has also taken the Blood, and at the end of the book, when Ram burns his hand on the last Sankara Stone, he is freed from the trance and returns to normal; Indy tries to pull him to safety, but Ram falls off the bridge.



  • Fred Astaire (Mentioned only)
  • Big Short Round
  • Phillip James Blumburtt
  • Buddha (Mentioned only)
  • James Cagney (Mentioned only)
  • Alphonse Capone (Mentioned only)
  • Chao-pao (Mentioned only)
  • Nick Charles (Mentioned only)
  • Nora Charles (Mentioned only)
  • Charlie Chaplin (Mentioned only)
  • Lao Che
  • Chen
  • Chief Guard
  • Chieftain
  • Chinese Co-Pilot
  • Chinese Pilot
  • Chu (Mentioned only)
  • Ty Cobb (Mentioned only)
  • Dizzy Dean (Mentioned only)
  • Dracula (Mentioned only)
  • Feng-p'o (Mentioned only)
  • Jimmy Foxx (Mentioned only)
  • Frankenstein (Mentioned only)
  • Clark Gable (Mentioned only)
  • Lou Gehrig (Mentioned only)
  • God of the Door of Ghosts (Mentioned only)
  • Wu Han
  • Jean Harlow (Mentioned only)
  • Dr. Van Helsing (Mentioned only)
  • Robin Hood (Mentioned only)
  • Hsienpo (Mentioned only)
  • Huan-t'ien (Mentioned only)
  • Mr. Hyde (Mentioned only)
  • Jade Emperor (Mentioned only)
  • Indiana Jones
  • Chiang Kai-Shek (Mentioned only)
  • Kao Kan
  • Krishna (Mentioned only)
  • Lei-Kung (Mentioned only)
  • Chattar Lal
  • Lefty Grove (Mentioned only)
  • Little Thunders (Mentioned only)
  • Marhan (As "Shaman")
  • Marian (Mentioned only)
  • Mother of Lightnings (Mentioned only)
  • My Lord the Thunder (Mentioned only)
  • Naga (Mentioned only)
  • Nainsukh
  • Frank Nitti (Mentioned only)
  • Mola Ram
  • Ginger Rogers (Mentioned only)
  • Babe Ruth (Mentioned only)
  • Sacrifice Victim
  • Sajnu
  • Willie Scott
  • Willie Scott's mother (Mentioned only)
  • Shiva (Mentioned only)
  • Short Round
  • Short Round's grandmother (Mentioned only)
  • Emperor Shou-Sin (Mentioned only)
  • Premjit Singh (Mentioned only) (As "Shafi Singh")
  • Zalim Singh
  • William Sleeman (Mentioned only)
  • Star of Dignities (Mentioned only)
  • Star of Happiness (Mentioned only)
  • Star of Longevity (Mentioned only)
  • Tien-Mu (Mentioned only)
  • Three Star-Gods (Mentioned only)
  • Thuggee assassin
  • Art Weber
  • Mae West (Mentioned only)
  • Wo-Mai (Mentioned only)
  • Uncle Wong (Mentioned only)
  • Yama Kings (Mentioned only)
  • Ying-t'ai (Mentioned only)




Behind the scenes[]

The second chapter "A Boy's Life" was an in-joke by author James Kahn to the working title of Steven Spielberg's 1982 film E.T. the Extraterrestrial.[1]

Cover gallery[]

Notes and references[]

Indiana Jones novels
Raiders of the Lost Ark · Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade · Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: The Mata Hari Affair
Cancelled: Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
Original stories
Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi · Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants
Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils · Indiana Jones and the Genesis Deluge
Indiana Jones and the Unicorn's Legacy · Indiana Jones and the Interior World
Indiana Jones and the Sky Pirates · Indiana Jones and the White Witch
Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone · Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs
Indiana Jones and the Hollow Earth · Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx
Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead
Overseas exclusives
Indiana Jones and the Feathered Serpent · Indiana Jones and the Longship of the Gods
Indiana Jones and the Gold of El Dorado · Indiana Jones and the Sword of Genghis Khan
Indiana Jones and the Lost People · Indiana Jones and the Secret of Easter Island
Indiana Jones and the Labyrinth of Horus · Indiana Jones and the Avalon Inheritance
Young adult Indiana Jones novels · Timeline of novels
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Novel (Adventures of Indiana Jones) · Junior novel (Collector's Edition) · A Tale of High Adventure · Storybook · Read-Along Adventure
Partial adaptations
Indy's Adventures · Traps and Snares · Great Escapes · The Search For Buried Treasure
Soundtrack (The Soundtracks Collection) · The Story of
Comic · 1 · 2 · 3 · Marvel Comics Super Special 30 · Omnibus 2 · Indiana Jones et la Cité de la Foudre
Video game · Greatest Adventures · Trading cards · Indiana Jones Heritage · Board game
Adventure Pack · Sourcebook
LEGO Indiana Jones
Shanghai Chase · The Original Adventures · The Adventure Continues
Activity books
Puzzle Book · Indiana Jones' Adventure Puzzles · Short Round's Action Puzzles · Willie and Indy's Pencil Games · Indiana Jones and his Life of Adventure · Annual 2009 · Annual 2010 · Activity Annual · Winter Activity Annual · Golden Treasure Sticker Book · Heroes and Villains Sticker Book · The Greatest Adventures of Indiana Jones
Behind the scenes
The Making of · The Illustrated Screenplay · Original Movie Script · From Star Wars to Indiana Jones · A Look Inside · Making the Trilogy · Indiana Jones: An Appreciation · Creepy Crawlies · Travel with Indy: Locations · Stunts of Indiana Jones · Sound of Indiana Jones · Light and Magic of Indiana Jones · Music of Indiana Jones · Indy's Women · Indy's Friends and Enemies ·
The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
Home video
VHS (The Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones) · DVD (Adventure Collection · Complete Adventure Collection)
Blu-ray (The Complete Adventures) · 4K (4-Movie Collection)
Other material and merchandise
Toy line · Collectors Edition · Official Poster Magazine