The Tale of the Dark Crystal
by Donna Bass
Illustrated by Bruce McNally

I wound up with two different versions of this book. One is a hardback and the other a soft cover. The hardcover book doesn't have a dust jacket, but instead the cover itself has the picture on it. The hardcover is a little smaller, but it contains a map of the land on the inside cover. Otherwise in content, both are the same. Here are the specs:

Hardcover:
Weekly Reader Books presents
The Tale of the Dark Crystal
Text by Donna Bass
Illustrated by Bruce McNally

Copyright 1982 by Henson Associates, Inc.
Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston
New York

ISBN: 00-03-062414-2
I counted 50 pages
9" x 7 3/4" x 0.3"

Softcover:
The Tale of the Dark Crystal
Text by Donna Bass
Illustrated by Bruce McNally

Copyright 1982 by Henson Associates, Inc.
Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Book Club Edition
New York

ISBN: 00-03-062414-2
I counted 46 pages
10" x 8 1/2" x 1/8"


My Take on The Tale of the Dark Crystal by Donna Bass

This is actually my least favorite of the books I've obtained on the Dark Crystal. This is mainly due to the writing style which is very basic and rather colorless. The author basically retells what happened in the movie without providing any added information. It basically follows a storybook format like the 'Little Golden Books' or Disney's 'Mouse Works' Storybooks. To illustrate, here's a sample of the writing:

" 'Are you a Gelfling?' Jen finally asked.
'Yes,' she answered.
'But ... I thought I was the only one."
'So did I.'
They smiled at each other, surprised and delighted.
'I have been hidden all my life with the Pod People in their village near here,' She said. 'I am Kira.'
'I am Jen.' "
-- from The Tale of the Dark Crystal by Donna Bass

Don't get me wrong, I'm still glad to have anything do with The Dark Crystal, but compared to the other items I've obtained, this one provides little extra information and does not really capture the essence of the world or its characters. However, the map on the inside covers of the hardcover edition is a very nice touch.

The illustrations by Bruce McNally are nice. I think they are all watercolor. I really liked Froud's detail and miss it in The Tale of the Dark Crystal, but I still appreciate anyone's interpretation of the movie.


Images from The Tale of the Dark Crystal


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Page last updated: January 21, 1999.