The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones
Published by Pocket Books
Adrick's Rating: 3 out of 4
The Federal Security Service of the Russion Federation is pleased to release one of its most prized holdings, the heretofore “lost” journal of Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr., which was obscured within the KGB’s collection for years before passing into the Russian Federation’s possession. From Jones’s notes on his youthful encounters with the likes of Lawrence of Arabia and Teddy Roosevelt, through his adult adventures with the Thuggee Cult, the Nazis, and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, this journal covers nearly fifty years of his life, spanning from 1908 to 1957. Dr Jones’s snapshots, sketches, press clippings, and entries recording his personal thoughts are all revealed in this volume, giving new insight into one of the most enigmatic adventurers of the twentieth century.
This is a really great looking book—the cover image does not do it justice. It’s actually dressed up to look like bound and aged leather, and the Russian Security Federation sleeve slides right off if you’d rather have something that looks like Indy might actually have carried around. It’s not prop quality, but it’s still very nice.
Any Indy fan will appreciate the detail to be found inside the journal. Some of the highlights include a letter from one of Indy’s girlfriends, a lost term paper, a professor evaluation, and invoices from the National Museum. These are all fairly convincing—for the most part, this captures the “feel” of the movie’s time period better than Disney’s similar Pirates of the Caribbean volume The Pirate’s Code Book, which I also own.
The Journal also nicely expands the Indy universe, with plenty of references to Indy’s “Expanded Adventures” in the books and videogames—some of these are quite subtle references that require careful reading to catch. The history behind the titular location from Temple of Doom is presented in more detail here, along with an explanation for the absurd voodoo dolls in that movie. Indy fans will also be pleased to note that this book also provides some clues as to our hero’s adventures in the nearly two decades between Last Crusade and the new Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
This book focuses mainly on the three original Indy films. Details from the new Crystal Skull film are kept to a minimum, and the idea behind the Journal is that Indy lost it during the movie—thus conveniently avoiding huge spoilers for the end. The “Expanded Adventures” sections are few and far between, and while the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles are included, most of Indy’s adventures in the show are skipped entirely. This is a neat collection of random thoughts and artifacts from Indy’s life, but those looking for more in-depth content would do better to check out the new Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
Definitely the “old” pictures of Indy and his dad. I could be wrong, but it looks like somebody got hold of old snapshots of young Sean Connery and Harrison Ford and stuck their heads onto some turn-of-the-century photographs. The same image is used for Indy’s dad in two different pictures! I realize now that at least one of these was actually seen onscreen in Last Crusade, but we only saw it for a few seconds. Now that Lucas has cast other actors to play young Indy and his dad, these look especially out of place.