God of War novelization unveiled, hilarious

When people ask what your favorite kind of videogame is, do you say "books?" Did you like playing God of War, but wished you could have learned more about what thoughts boiled ephemeral behind Kratos' mighty alabaster thews as he rent asunder the putrescent hordes of the underworld? Then you're going to love the shit out of the God of War novelization (by Matthew Stover and Robert E. Vardeman), due out May 25.

In advance of the book's publication, Sony and publisher Del Rey have released the large-print prologue and first chapter online, and it sports some of the most hilariously overwrought prose we've read since that second sentence up there. To see it for yourself, click here (via the God of War official site). Before you do, though, you should know that it contains gems like this, taken from the book's intensely detailed retelling of the game's opening cutscene:

"His arms hang, their vast cords of knotted muscle limp and useless now. His hands bear the hardened callus not only of sword and Spartan javelin but of the Blades of Chaos, the Trident of Poseidon, and even the legendary Thunderbolt of Zeus. These hands have taken more lives than Kratos has taken breaths, but they have no weapon now to hold. These hands will not even flex and curl into fists. All they can feel is the slow trickle of blood and pus that drips from his torn wrists."

Above: PUS!

And also:

"He steps to the final inches of the cliff, his sandals scraping gravel over the crumbling brink. A thousand feet below, dirty rags of cloud twist and braid a net of mist between him and the jagged rocks where the Aegean crashes upon them. A net? He shakes his head.

"A net? Rather, a shroud."

It may be wrong to judge a book by its first few pages, but come on: passages like that can't actually be read, they have to be chewed. To be fair, though, there's probably some kind of rule against telling a sword-and-sandal story about a grunting barbarian and not having it be outrageously florid. Besides, whether you think it's alarmingly dense hackwork or actually, y'know, good, you're bound to find some entertainment here; go read it and judge for yourself.

May 10, 2010


  • StoryofEverest - May 10, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    Reminds me of Owen Wilson reading from his novel in the Royal Tenenbaums. "...and they rode off into the friskilating dusklight"
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 10, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    That reads like some Kratos erotic fan fiction. First I thought it was dumb. After reading the excerpt, I'm genuinely interested in seeing how utterly stupid it is.
  • mgkyo666 - May 10, 2010 11:10 p.m.

    I know what i'm buying for my summer reading! :D
  • RonnyLive19881 - May 10, 2010 11:30 p.m.

    This is a pathetic cash in... I'll stick with my Zelda/Mario Comics and Resident Evil novels thanks.
  • Skykid - May 10, 2010 11:37 p.m.

    Don't dis the writer. Matt Stover has written some of the best stuff you'll ever read; I know, I've actuall read some of his stuff. If, that is, you've ever read a book in your life. @CH3BURASHKA, That's like dissing a Gears of War book. That's insulting. reCAPTCHA: grenades avoid. got that right
  • Cyberninja - May 10, 2010 11:48 p.m.

    if it has kratos rather kill the stuff myself
  • Tygerclaws - May 10, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    This is terribly written, period. Way, way, waaayyy too dense for comfortable reading, and this is coming from someone who read--and loves--The Wheel of Time. Also, using present tense makes it feel like some kid's roleplay on a forum, and the Hey-I-had-a-thesaurus-while-writing-this! vocabulary only cements that feeling. @Skykid: His previous work has no bearing on the fact that this reads like a Stephanie Meyer book.
  • Samael - May 11, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    Wow, I love video game novels, I've read all the Halo novels, Mass Effect Novels, Dragon Age novels and the Metal Gear Solid novels, but even I know some games are not fit for the printed page. God of War is one of those games. This is so, so dumb.
  • RonnyLive19881 - May 11, 2010 12:17 a.m.

    I read all the time, I'm a huge Harry Potter and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan. The Host was alright too. As for Matt, from what I read on this article he really needs to stick to Star Wars novels.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - May 11, 2010 12:38 a.m.

    That sounds like a REALLY bad fanfic..oh, wait...
  • Tomgoulter - May 11, 2010 1:36 a.m.

    I intend to cast my widened globules of ocular recognition over each and every last ink-hewn glyph imprinted within this studied narrative, my breath 'bated ever the more with each fragile and gossamer-thin page I savagely rend from its unread brothers, only to deliver to its new home on the spent and scattered shores of the volume's left side. Shall I rest before my mind's eye has served as bystander to the full complement of the ebon warrior's infernal travails? Not so! Etc.
  • EricBratcher - May 11, 2010 2:18 a.m.

    Nerdish error correction: Technically, pus is only produced when a wound (or other orifice, in the case of skin pores that become zits) becomes infected, and it takes days to build up. It does not flow freely from a fresh wound along with blood. Not that physiological inaccuracy is the biggest problem with this excerpt, but still...
  • TheSugarRay - May 11, 2010 2:38 a.m.

    How many synonims for angery will there be?
  • RebornKusabi - May 11, 2010 3:18 a.m.

    Kratuss's manliness cannot be contained by a mere tome!
  • Samael - May 11, 2010 4:27 a.m.

    @Tomgoulter +100 for "gossamer" alone. Bravo sir.
  • shinigamiDude - May 11, 2010 10:08 a.m.

    Is this going to be the official cover? That shit is so 2005.
  • Blitztank - May 11, 2010 3 p.m.

    It will be amusing to read the many variations of: "Kratos ran into a room, monsters showed up, Kratos swung his Blades around for a couple of minutes and everything died." I'd rather play the games and do the killing myself.
  • Conman93 - May 11, 2010 4:12 p.m.

    Even if this isnt good, id rather study it in english than fucking wuthering heights!

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