After recently revisiting The Ninth Gate, a film I love for being a solid mix of neo-noir and occult horror, I decided that reading the book it’s based on was long overdue.
I’m actually surprised that I hadn’t read this a long time ago. I was also surprised to see that this was written by the same guy that wrote the novel that served as the inspiration to the hit television crime drama, Queen of the South.
This features the same core characters as the film but the two stories have some very big differences. This version alters the relationships of some characters, as well as their personalities. Corso and Balkan’s interactions are very different, here, and I feel like in the film, things were altered in a way that maximized the talents of both Johnny Depp and Frank Langella.
The book is more detailed and explores some territory that the movie did not. I don’t want to ruin it, though, and don’t want to point out every difference.
If you are a fan of The Ninth Gate, you should probably enjoy this. While I like the movie better, overall, a lot of that could just be due to my familiarity with it and now my nostalgia for it, being that it’s over twenty years old.
The book is pretty dense at times, though, and it assumes you have knowledge of classic literature. While that knowledge isn’t necessary in order to follow this, it does probably make the overall experience more interesting and engaging.
Like the film, it was fun seeing Corso try to solve a puzzle that would lead to some dark discoveries.