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Metropolis by Thea von Harbou

Metropolis (original 1926; edition 2014)

by Thea von Harbou (Author)

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349452,296 (3.59)8
She was not screaming for food. She was screaming: Danger--! Danger--! The screaming did not stop. It howled on, incessantly. Who had dared to unchain the voice of the great Metropolis, which otherwise obeyed no one but Joh Fredersen? Was Joh. Fredersen-no longer in this house? Or was this voice to call him?--this wild roar of: Danger--! Danger--! What danger was threatening Metropolis? Fire could not be alarming the city, to make her roar so, as though she had gone mad. No high tide was threatening Metropolis. These elements were subdued and quiet.… (more)
Authors:Thea von Harbou (Author)
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014), 198 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Science Fiction

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Metropolis by Thea von Harbou (1926)


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A futuristic utopia, written like a poetic dream/nightmare. The rich lounge in the upper city of Metropolis while the poor slave away their lives in the underbelly, feeding the machine of Metropolis with their sweat and blood. The heart, von Harbou insists, must be the mediator between the head and hands. This is the novelization of Fritz Lang's timeless film by the same name, and it's just as genius and elegantly created. Robot Maria is just as frightening and Rotwang is just as mad. The prose flows beautifully..almost in a nightmarish subconscious tone. It is a short read and an easy one, and it is VERY worth it.
Only problem is it's hard to find. ( )
1 vote VicNoirReader | Dec 12, 2010 |
I'd say that I have about two novelizations on my bookshelf. I'm not sure if I want to count 2001: A Space Odyssey, as I figure that and the film were written side-by-side. I do count, however, Neverwhere, as it is technically a novelization.

I used to have the novelizations for The Last Starfighter and Clash of the Titans, not to mention all the original Star Wars novelizations, but I found that when authors take a script and try to make 200+ page novel out of a 2+ hour film, they start to take a little bit of creative liberty with what goes through the main character's head, with other such annoying tactics to build a word count.

Not for me, thanks.

The only other novelization I really consider myself to have is this one, Metropolis, written by Lang's wife, Harbou. It was written after the film was released to give a larger market to the story presented in the film.

It is highly recommended (at least, an annotated version) for any fan of the film wishing to know innumerably more things about Metropolis as a whole. However, for the casual reader, it may be of little interest, as you'll probably do as much reading watching the film as you will reading the book (it is a silent picture after all). And, there's just as much color.

The story is a utopian one. Well, part of it is utopian. If you're rich, you live an unencumbered life of luxury, frolicking all day through gardens in the sky, and such. And how is all of this possible? Well, it's all done on the backs of the working class, who are all, effectively, just interchangeable cogs in the larger machine that is Metropolis.

Meet Joh Frederson, son of Freder, the ruler of Metropolis. Joh happens to meet a woman named Maria one day, and suddenly his world view has changed. He's all in favor of helping the working class, even if it means taking away his cushy life.

Freder, however, doesn't like this rabble rouser Maria. He consults his confidante and bitter enemy, Dr. Rotwang, who has perfected an automaton. Using this robot, disguised as a woman who looks identical to Maria, he sends her off to disrupt the plans of the real Maria.

Things don't start looking up from there.

If you are going to get this book, I recommend one not translated by Alan Rodgers, as I felt his translation was weak, and at times, plagued with errors. However, I cannot make a good recommendation over translators, so you'll just have to find the one that's best for you, or read it in the original German, if you're so inclined.

I do recommend this, though, to any fan of Metropolis. You may know everything there is to know about the film, but it can help provide even more insight. ( )
1 vote aethercowboy | Jun 25, 2009 |
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