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.
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.
Differences from the film
- At the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors, during the temple's collapse, Indy threatens to drop the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol into the pit if Satipo doesn't throws his whip back.
- The fertility idol is small enough to 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.
- Herman Dietrich is introduced immediately after Indy and Jock escape from the Hovitos, in Berlin being given his marching orders by an SS officer named Eidel.
- 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.
- Indy recalls the last time he spoke with Abner Ravenwood, discussing Indy's relationship with Marion.
- 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.
- The Arab Swordsman is absent entirely so Indy never shoots him dead.
- 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.
- René Emile Belloq
- Marcus Brody
- Capuchin monkey
- Herman Dietrich
- Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir
- Forrestal (Remains)
- German Mechanic
- Giant Sherpa
- Adolf Hitler (Flashback)
- Indiana Jones
- Anna Mary Jones (Mentioned only)
- Simon Katanga
- Lin-Su (First appearance)
- Mean Mongolian
- Otto (As "Eyepatch")
- Ratty Nepalese
- Abner Ravenwood (Mentioned only)
- Marion Ravenwood
- Monkey Man
- Rita (First mentioned)
- Susan Ryan
- Second German Mechanic
- Arnold Ernst Toht
Behind the scenes
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.
Notes and references
- Bantha Tracks 11