If you were like me, I had no idea that Die Hard was based upon a novel. Once I found this out, I needed to track down the book that inspired a movie that I always watch at Christmas. I don't even think I have to do a premise over view for this book....I mean who hasn't see Die Hard??? Just in case you haven't see the movie, here is the general rundown:
Joe Leland is flying into LA to viit his daughter and family for Christmas, but this is going to be one that he never forgets. He joins his daughter at her Christmas office party, never expecting that he would be fighting for their lives. So becomes a game of cat and mouse through out the building, where Leland tries to put a dent in the terroristw who have taken over the building. But these terrorist are not afriad to kill hostages and it is only a matter of time till the get to Leland's daughter. Can he cause enough grief to the terroirst that they focus more on him and to what lengths will Leland have to go to inorder to make it out alive. In the game of Cat and Mouse there is only one survivor in the end.
As I stated above this is the novel that inspired the movie Die Hard (one of my favorite mindless action movies). If you are looking to read Die Hard the book, this is where to look, but I will say that overall it is fairly different from the movie. You can see where the general premise of the movie comes from in this book but that is about it. There were a few things that remained the same, but there was a lot different between the two. For example, the main characters name, the fact that his wife (well ex-wife) has passed away and he is in town visiting his grown up daughter and her family. There is also a difference on how Leland goes about his job in preventing the terrorists for getting what they want and I thought in the book it was more about creating terror than being about money like it was in the movie.
Thorp's novel is a much darker version of what you see on the movie screen. I say that this novel is darker than the movies as there are differences that i think some people may find more distubing. for example all the people that joe kils in this novel are described as young men/kids or young women. Also it is more descriptive as to how he kills some of the victims and the stps involved in breaking one of the victims not victims but terroirsts neck. additionally this novels does not have the happy hollywood ending that you would expect and that there are deaths on both sides.
You can tell that Thorp is writing in a different generation than we are in now and it was interesting/funny to read something that was not too distant in the past, but wow how has tecnology changed as well as the social dynamics of the world and terrorsit situation. You can even see this difference from when the movie was written
Joe Leland is an interesting character, always on guard even though he is not a cop (any more), he is a consultant to police department all over the world and that includes know the whose who of terrorists. He is even carries a badge that the NYPD gave him that states on the back that "This guy is a prick", however, Leland is not afraid to put on the appearance that he is still a cop. I appreciated that Thorp allowed Leland to get hurt and this prevented his physical and mental ability to proceed on with what needed to be done. Thorp also showed the emotional toll that killing people especially the women and younger terrorsit had Leland's ability to cntinue one. There are several times that he wanted to give up. I do not think that this came across within Die Hard as well, and I felt that Lelamnd was a more of a humanized character than John was.
One thing that this book was missing was different points of view. I wish that we were able to get either his daughters point of view or of the lead terrorist Anton "Little Tony" Gruber. I think this would have created a more well rounded story as there is a lot of guess work that is done by Leland and it just felt like there were holes missing in the story that could have been filled with a different perspective.
Not going to lie I actually think that Die Hard the movie was better than this novel and I think this main fact lies in not knowning the whole story. It was hard to see it just from Leland's point of view and not others after seeing the movie. But I think those who are interested to know what inspired Die Hard will want to read this book, but as for an overall action read, I think most people will want to pass.