Cowboys & Aliens

  • by Joan D. Vinge
  • Narrated by Fred Berman
  • 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Now a major motion picture from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.
1875. New Mexico Territory.
A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hardscrabble desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde. It’s a town that lives in fear.
But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these mysterious visitors challenge everything the residents have ever known.
Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and what he’s experienced, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella, he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Chiricahua Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation. Unlikely allies united against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.
Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures/Reliance - Entertainment present in association with Relativity Media an Imagine Entertainment/K/O Paper Products/Fairview Entertainment/Platinum Studios production. A Jon Favreau film; Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, “Cowboys & Aliens”, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, Noah Ringer. Music by Harry Gregson-Williams; Visual effects and animation by Industrial Light & Magic. Costume Designer Mary Zophres; Edited by Dan Lebental ACE; Production Designer Scott Chambliss; Director of Photography Matthew Libatique ASC; Executive Producers Steven Spielberg, Jon Favreau, Denis L. Stewart, Bobby Cohen, Randy Greenberg, Ryan Kavanaugh; Produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg; Based on Platinum Studios' "Cowboys and Aliens" by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. Screen Story by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Steve Oedekerk. Screenplay by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby. Directed by Jon Favreau. A Universal Picture. www.cowboysandaliensmovie.com. © 2011 Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Dist. Cowboys & Aliens ™ & © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Understand...It's a Hollywood movie, then a book

If you get that it was a movie first then you'll understand that the book runs like a movie. Not great literature. It reads like a movie. So…if you can get past that then it is an okay but no “take you on a great and soul moving journey” type of listening experiance. There is most all of the Hollywood style Sci-Fi, Good vs. Evil, and Wounded Hero clichés in the story. But come on, like “Snakes on a Plane” the title explains itself. Good for a summer escape. Narrative is good but Fred Berman uses only one voice, he’s not a Roy Dotrice, but his American accent is easy to listen to after a short while if you give him a chance.
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- Terrance Hanna

Movie turned to Book...Preferred the Movie

Cowboys and Aliens by Joan D. Vinge is a novelization of the movie that came out in theaters in July 2011. If it hadn’t been space month on the blog, I don’t know if I would have normally picked out this book as I don’t generally like seeing a movie before I read the book. However, I gave Cowboys and Aliens a try because I really enjoyed the movie and thought for sure I would enjoy the book. So for this review, I’m going to do a book vs. movie comparison.

The Movie

Cowboys and Aliens the movie stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, and many other great actors. I love all three of these actors and felt they all played their part exceptionally. I was particularly impressed with the transformation of Daniel Craig’s British accent to a Western accent. He also fits in seamlessly to the Western setting and the cowboy look. Harrison Ford is awesome as usual. He pulls off the grumpy old cowboy persona very well. His character’s voice is grizzled, well weathered, and fantastic and in many scenes he steals the show.

Olivia Wilde’s character is also great but I wish the movie had gone more in depth with her. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford’s characters were clearly defined and unfortunately her character was not, which is at no fault to Olivia Wilde. Her character, as it was written, is the one that I felt made the movie a little hokey. If they had given her a little more background, I might have accepted or understood her character better.

The movie combines the Western and Science Fiction genres well to create a completely original storyline. Overall, the movie is a fun ride that is unlike anything else in Hollywood at this time.

The Book

The narrator, Fred Berman, is phenomenal and does amazing voices for every character, and I really do mean every character. The author, Joan D. Vinge, is also talented and she does a wonderful job painting the settings, describing the action scenes, and putting the reader in the characters’ shoes.

With that said, the book is pretty much exactly the same as the movie. The book does provide more details than the movie and the reader gets a little more information on the characters’ backgrounds. Since I felt the movie lacked a little on the character backgrounds, I was glad to learn more about them and to see things from their perspective. However, there is not a lot of extra detail that the movie doesn’t generally cover. I particularly wanted to learn more about Ella’s character as she has a lot of mystery surrounding her. Unfortunately, the book did not deliver what I wanted. I understood her character better from the book but not a whole lot more.

The Winner

If you are trying to decide between reading the book or watching the movie, I recommend watching the movie over reading the book. Gasp! This is probably the first time that I thought a movie was better than the book. My reason for the recommending the movie is mainly because they are one in the same. Only the movie tells the story with great actors and tons of special effects and explosions. The story is also written for the big screen and I think that’s where it should stay.
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- Staaj

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-29-2011
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio