Book: Godzilla From The Past


Godzilla From The Past

English Book Title

Godzilla From The Past


Terri Bell


B00UY3LPD4 [ASIN - Digital]





By: Nicholas Driscoll

Recently I reviewed the awkwardly-named and thoroughly awful Godzilla: 5 Shocking Facts About Godzilla, and in that review I dubbed the unfortunate "book" as a rival to Godzilla is in Purgatory for the coveted title of "worst Godzilla-related book of all time". Well, folks, that title has absolutely and definitively been claimed by Terri Bell's Godzilla From The Past, which is far and away worse than either of the above titles. Yes, we have a book that is grossly inferior to Godzilla is in Purgatory. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence—but it is TRUE.

Godzilla From The Past is a work of fiction, though I can't say as much work was actually put into it, and is currently being sold on Amazon—but this astoundingly incompetent text file is obviously not authorized by Toho, so we basically have someone selling fan-fiction online. And this is the worst fan-fiction I have ever read. Go to google, search for Godzilla fan-fiction, or really fan-fiction based on anything, and the first one you read, even if it was written by an illiterate seven-year-old, is almost certainly superior to this book.

So before I go any further, I suppose I should at least touch on the story. Maybe a quick, furtive poke at the prose and then I will run away—it's hard to even understand the story after having read the thing, so I can't (be bothered to) go into much detail. The story takes place in 1992, apparently within the Heisei series continuity. Godzilla is attacked by a mysterious gas-like monster on Mt. Fuji and is killed, and the gas-like monster morphs, using Godzilla's DNA, into a more Godzilla-like form. This new monster is called Orgalanus, and "our popular psychic" Miki Saegusa uses "The Time Transporter" to search through time for the most powerful version of Godzilla she can find in order to defeat Orgalanus. (The Time Transporter was apparently used in the 60s to move various monsters to Beast Island, which must be an ill-conceived reference to Destroy All Monsters (1968), except that that film took place in 1999...) Anyway, Miki snags "Mogugoji/Desugoji Godzilla who is getting a meltdown" in order to fight Orgalanus, and brings along Godzilla Junior for the fight. Much monster fighting ensues, and eventually (uh, spoilers) Godzilla Junior gets transformed into GMK Godzilla through an infusion of radiation, which gives him the viciousness and power to whomp Orgalanus.

Okay, let's not drag this out too long. The whole book is only eight pages long (albeit eight pages of solid text with no paragraph breaks), so I feel no need to write a novel-length review. The story itself might have been kind of fun had the writing been up to snuff, although really it feels like fan-made random stuff, albeit at least with an original monster thrown in. The story is so short, however, that there is no room for character development, and anyway, even if there were time for interesting characters or deep themes, the actual prose itself would annihilate the possibility of such.

Let's just get this out of the way: Whatever native language Terri Bell uses at home, it's not English. I actually doubt this book was even written in English—my guess is that Bell wrote it in his native language and ran the text through some translation software, and the resulting alphabet soup (which particularly favors the word "particular") is frankly brain-breaking. Thus we end up with sentences such as "Countdown begins in 5, 4, a few, 2, 1, 0 "wooooosh!"' and the unforgettable, "Mainly because when Miki was carried back it upset the particular flow of time till she goes back this will disrupted everything" or even "Godzilla walks out of drinking water after Junior towards the particular launch pad." The whole story is written this way, and given that the paragraph breaks don't work (Bell inserted HTML paragraph breaks which didn't format properly), the reader is treated to one seemingly neverending paragraph from the depths of literary hades.

So I did the only sane thing: I just read most of the story out loud, gleefully stumbling through the shockingly impossible sentences like "This had been burning Orgalanus's skin due to the particular intense heat of this particular nuclear pulse" or "Younger looked at Orgalanus since if he smiled plus said "Guess your day time has come." I don't want to make fun of someone's attempts at English—I don't like that kind of thing, especially given I am an English teacher abroad in Japan. But I honestly think this story was most likely translated via Google translate, and, given that Bell was trying to actually SELL this book through Amazon, I think it deserves all the derision it can get.

I managed to read this incredible book through the auspices of a free month on Kindle Unlimited—if I had paid for Godzilla From The Past, I would have felt pretty hornswoggled. Given that this book is a clear copyright violation, hopefully Toho will just clamp down on Bell and this atrocious story will disappear forever. Still, it does have a sort of humorous appeal for the masochistic, somewhat akin to the infamous 1883 Portuguese-English phrasebook, English as She is Spoke, which originally was meant as a serious publication, but was so ill-conceived that the manuscript was eventually reprinted as a humor title. Perhaps Godzilla From The Past could meet a similar fate—if it can survive Toho's lawyers.