thanks LEGO mini-figure man
Should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.
You know it’s Hell because they schedule parties just so they can cancel them!
SPOILER ALERT: THE CRAZIEST THING IN THIS NOVELIZATION SO FAR HAPPENS ON THIS PAGE (PAGE 50). Hold on to your balls because you are about to be tripping on them; there will be not a single ball left untripped.
Alright! So the car jumps one minute ahead in time (I always thought it was badass that Christopher Lloyd and Michael J stood on top of some fire, the above picture seems to indicate that this was NOT THE CASE) and it’s all decently conveyed and not too far from the movie, except for of course some unnecessary words. Here’s the conversation Doc and Marty just after the DeLorean disappears: what made it to the movie is in bold and the rest is BONUS novelization words:
DOC: What did I tell you: eighty-eight miles per hour! Just as I figured. The temporal displacement occurred at exactly 1:20 a.m. and zero seconds.
MARTY: Jesus Christ! [Actually in the book he says “Christ Almighty!” but whatever] You disintegrated Einstein!
MARTY: But the license plate’s all that remains of the car and dog and everything!
DOC: Calm down, Marty. I didn’t disintegrate anything. The molecular structure of both Einstein and the car are completely intact.
MARTY: Then where the hell are they?
DOC: Not where, when.
MARTY: I don’t understand.
Notice how nothing was lost when we cut out all the non-bold stuff? THIS IS YOUR CHALLENGE AS WRITERS: to be able to see and cut the non-bold stuff in your writing even when nothing on the page is actually in bold. That is a beautiful image that I just made up myself but OKAY ENOUGH WRITING STUFF LET US GET TO THE INSANITY.
So in the movie (and presumably in the script Gipe was working from) Doc says the car is intact and in response Marty says
Where the hell are they?!
and Doc replies
The appropriate question is, when the hell are they? You see, Einstein has just become the world’s first time traveler!
Straightforward enough, right? Not where, when.
Well I cannot begin to fathom what was going through Gipe’s mind as he wrote out this scene, nor (going one level deeper) can I imagine what he thought Doc Brown must have been thinking at this moment, because here is what is written with not a single word changed and with all emphasis in the book left intact:
“The appropriate question,” Doc Brown amended, “is not where are they, but where the hell are they?”
THAT IS NOT THE APPROPRIATE QUESTION, THAT’S THE EXACT SAME INAPPROPRIATE QUESTION WITH EXTRA PROFANITY ADDED IN
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND… THIS BOOK
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND… GEORGE GIPE
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND… WHY THIS PASSAGE IMPLIES THAT DOC BROWN SENT EINSTEIN STRAIGHT TO HELL