The Raiders of the Lost Ark novel was written by Campbell Black. An adaptation of the film of the same name, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was first published in April 1981 by Ballantine Books.

The book, along with the novelizations of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was republished in 2008 by Del Rey, and retitled Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

The holiest artifact on earth is filled with dazzling, incredible power. Indiana Jones has to get it before the Nazis do.

Indiana Jones, archeology professor and swashbuckling adventurer, has unearthed many an ancient treasure. But now the very future of the world depends on his finding one special relic.

With a bullwhip in his hand and a beautiful lady at his side, Jones journeys from Nepal and Cairo to the Mediterranean, dodging poisons, traps and snakes, battling rivals old and new, all in pursuit of an ancient artifact said to give invincible power to its possessor.

It's a battle to a startling finish, a finish dictated by the magic, the light—and the power—of the Lost Ark.

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

Differences from the film[edit | edit source]

  • The fertility idol is small enough the be carried in Satipo's pocket.
  • Jock Lindsey is Scottish instead of American like in the film.
  • Indy at one point recalls some of his previous encounters with René Belloq, such as at graduate school, when Belloq plagiarized Indy's essay on stratigraphy, and as a result was awarded the Archeological Society Prize. Later, in the summer of 1934 Indy found that Belloq already had excavated a spot in the Rub al Khali Desert of Saudi Arabia, a place which Indy had spent months planning to dig.
  • Belloq, upon being hired by Dietrich, is brought to Adolf Hitler's countryside retreat for an audience with him. They are made to wait, and Belloq expresses annoyance and disdain for Hitler because of this.
  • Although in the film it is a nameless Nazi agent who gets aboard the plane with Indy as he leaves for Nepal, the novel combines this character with Arnold Ernst Toht.
  • Upon arriving in Nepal, Indy acquires both a car and directions to the Raven bar from a contact named Lin-Su.
  • After Indy leaves the bar, he sits in his car and stews over what he should do, and doesn't notice Toht and his cronies walking past on their way to the Raven.
  • Otto wears an eyepatch and is even identified by the nickname "Eyepatch."
  • When Indy rescues Marion, Marion remembers how Indy every day used to practice with his bullwhip. Indy then recalls how he developed his fascination for the bullwhip, seeing a whip-act in a traveling circus when he was seven years old.
  • An added extra scene at Tanis wherein Belloq is overseeing the dig, and Belloq recalls how Toht arrived with the markings of the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra burned into his palm, and how he made a duplicate Headpiece from this by taking a mold of Toht's hand.
  • The first mechanic is described as a younger man with tattoos, and unlike the film Indy pushes him into the Flying Wing's propeller, as opposed to him overpowering Indy and then realizing too late that the propeller was right behind him.
  • The truck chase happens differently. Firstly Toht rides in the same car as Gobler, and thus dies when the car flies off of a cliff. Also the Nazi gunner in the back of the car is flipped out when Indy sideswipes Gobler with the truck, and he falls down a cliff. The Tough Sergeant never appears; instead two soldiers try to climb over the top of the truck, but are killed when Indy slams the brakes and sends them flying against the side of a mountain.
  • Following the truck chase, there is an added scene of Belloq and Dietrich at the German consulate in Cairo, where they smoke cigarettes and wonder what they should do, be being given news of the departing Bantu Wind.
  • Indy uses his whip to lash onto the periscope of the Wurrfler, but loses his fedora in the water and his whip tied to the periscope.
  • Indy interrupts the Ark-opening ceremony after Belloq has changed into his ceremonial robes. When he is subdued by Captain Mohler, Dietrich attempts to execute him, but Belloq stops him, telling him to tie Indy up and kill him after they open the Ark, so Indy can die knowing he (Belloq) defeated him one final time.
  • Belloq's death is different than the movie. His eyes burn out of his sockets, his skin decays, and he turns to dust. Also the deaths of the Nazis (particularly Dietrich) are not explicitly described.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

Artifacts[edit | edit source]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

As the novelization of Raiders of the Lost Ark was published in April 1981, two months before the film itself in June, the book has the distinction of being the first Indiana Jones item ever released.

Cover gallery[edit | edit source]

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Books
Adaptations
Novel (Adventures of Indiana Jones) · Junior novel (Collector's Edition) · Storybook · Read-Along Adventure · Mighty Chronicles
Partial adaptations
Indy's Adventures · Traps and Snares · Great Escapes · The Search For Buried Treasure
Audio
Soundtrack (The Soundtracks Collection) · The Movie on Record
Comics
Comic · 1 · 2 · 3 · Marvel Comics Super Special 18 · Omnibus 1 · The Gold Goddess
Games
Video game · Greatest Adventures · Trading cards · Indiana Jones Heritage · Raiders of the Lost Ark Game ·
Adventure Pack · Sourcebook
LEGO Indiana Jones
LEGO Indiana Jones Adventures · The Original Adventures · The Adventure Continues
Activity books
Coloring/Activity Book · Things to Do and Color · 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: (Book · Documentary) · Great Movie Stunts · 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 ·
On Set With Raiders of the Lost Ark: (From Jungle to Desert · From Adventure to Legend)
Script development
Story conference transcript · Screenplay drafts
Home video
VHS (The Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones) · DVD (Adventure Collection · Complete Adventure Collection) · Blu-ray (The Complete Adventures) · LaserDisc · Great Movie Stunts & The Making Of Raiders of the Lost Ark
Other material and merchandise
Toy line · Collector's Album · Official Film Poster Magazine · LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick
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