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Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League

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A world-class hero confronts ancient supernatural evils in an adventure that spans entire planets and defies everyday notions of reality! Still mourning the losses of his beloved Penny Priddy and his surrogate father Professor Hikita, Buckaroo Banzai must also contend with the constant threat of attack from his immortal nemesis Hanoi Xan, ruthless leader of the World Crime A world-class hero confronts ancient supernatural evils in an adventure that spans entire planets and defies everyday notions of reality! Still mourning the losses of his beloved Penny Priddy and his surrogate father Professor Hikita, Buckaroo Banzai must also contend with the constant threat of attack from his immortal nemesis Hanoi Xan, ruthless leader of the World Crime League. To make matters worse, Planet 10 warrior queen John Emdall has sent her Lectroid legions against Earth with a brutal ultimatum. Or is her true target Buckaroo Banzai? As the apocalyptic threats continue to mount, only Buckaroo and his Hong Kong Cavaliers stand in the way of global destruction. The long-awaited sequel to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is finally here after more than 35 years! As told by the Reno Kid to Buckaroo Banzai chronicler E.M. Rauch, this tale follows everyone's favorite scientist-surgeon-entertainer-daredevil as he sets off on a brand-new hair-raising adventure!


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A world-class hero confronts ancient supernatural evils in an adventure that spans entire planets and defies everyday notions of reality! Still mourning the losses of his beloved Penny Priddy and his surrogate father Professor Hikita, Buckaroo Banzai must also contend with the constant threat of attack from his immortal nemesis Hanoi Xan, ruthless leader of the World Crime A world-class hero confronts ancient supernatural evils in an adventure that spans entire planets and defies everyday notions of reality! Still mourning the losses of his beloved Penny Priddy and his surrogate father Professor Hikita, Buckaroo Banzai must also contend with the constant threat of attack from his immortal nemesis Hanoi Xan, ruthless leader of the World Crime League. To make matters worse, Planet 10 warrior queen John Emdall has sent her Lectroid legions against Earth with a brutal ultimatum. Or is her true target Buckaroo Banzai? As the apocalyptic threats continue to mount, only Buckaroo and his Hong Kong Cavaliers stand in the way of global destruction. The long-awaited sequel to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is finally here after more than 35 years! As told by the Reno Kid to Buckaroo Banzai chronicler E.M. Rauch, this tale follows everyone's favorite scientist-surgeon-entertainer-daredevil as he sets off on a brand-new hair-raising adventure!

30 review for Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tom Campbell

    The adventures of famed rock star/scientist/surgeon/adventurer Buckaroo Banzai continue in this weighty tome, wherein our hero encounters generals, popes, and presidents, while doing battle with Red Lectroids and the evil Hanoi Xan, leader of the World Crime League. This book defies expectations, to say the least, both those of readers looking for a proper sequel to the film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension" and those expecting a certain type of adventure based on t The adventures of famed rock star/scientist/surgeon/adventurer Buckaroo Banzai continue in this weighty tome, wherein our hero encounters generals, popes, and presidents, while doing battle with Red Lectroids and the evil Hanoi Xan, leader of the World Crime League. This book defies expectations, to say the least, both those of readers looking for a proper sequel to the film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension" and those expecting a certain type of adventure based on the title of the book. As I stated to friends on Facebook, the book not only defies expectations, it buries them upside-down on sanctified land and takes a whiz on them. Some may find this surprising as the book is written by Earl Mac Rauch, creator of Buckaroo Banzai and screenwriter of the aforementioned film. Those who've followed his work on the character since perhaps will be less so, as the conceit of his stories is that he chronicles them with Reno, one of Buckaroo's Hong Kong Cavaliers, with the film existing within the larger fictional universe as an in-universe dramatization of one of the great man's adventures. Rauch is either a certified genius or a complete nut. The book is a slow burn, with much of the actual action occurring in the second half of the book. Much of the novel is gloriously self-indulgent, full of world-building, offbeat characters, and rampant philosophizing. The characters are all writ large, with the main character virtuous, intelligent, and sympathetic (though self-admittedly not unflawed), with the bad guys deceitful, disturbed, and degenerate. The prose is chock full of adjectives and metaphors, such that the reader may at times feel they are having to wade through them like molasses. The story takes time to develop, at times dwelling on characters and events not directly pertinent to the main plot, and is chock full of absurdities, much more than it's film predecessor. Characters flit in and out of the narrative, some given significant time before disappearing completely, others given little time but notable for having appeared at all (one such being explicitly identified as a cameo), and some characters and storylines fail to be resolved. (Fear not, though, as further adventures are promised, though even that must be taken with a grain of salt given the film's end advertisement of a sequel.) This is, ultimately, a book that by all rights should not work, yet I found myself engaged throughout, even as characters spent pages in overly descriptive insults of one another, as well as far too many occurrences of characters losing control of their bodily functions. Was it from enjoyment or the fascination of witnessing a train wreck that one cannot tear one's eyes from? I've concluded that there may be a bit of both, though my star rating reflects the personal fun I had in reading it. Fair warning, though, I expect this to be very polarizing, with little middle ground between thoroughly enjoying the book and utterly despising it. For my part. I'm pleased to see Buckaroo and the crew back, even if it's not quite the way I expected.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    I didn't finish this in the "I read the entire book" sense. I finished in the "this is completely unreadable, and I won't waste another minute with it" sense. I'll put my BB fandom up against anybody's. I saw the movie more than once in the theater when it was originally released. I've owned the original novelization (in the past tense - I lost it in Hurricane Katrina), I've owned BB t-shirts, the alarm on my phone I wake up to every morning is the music that plays over the end credits. I have a I didn't finish this in the "I read the entire book" sense. I finished in the "this is completely unreadable, and I won't waste another minute with it" sense. I'll put my BB fandom up against anybody's. I saw the movie more than once in the theater when it was originally released. I've owned the original novelization (in the past tense - I lost it in Hurricane Katrina), I've owned BB t-shirts, the alarm on my phone I wake up to every morning is the music that plays over the end credits. I have a promotional packet that was sent to me when I wrote to the studio back when the original movie was still in theaters. I say all that just to say that I really WANTED to love this book. After all these years, I really wanted to love this new bit of Banzaibilia. But it is, as so many others have pointed out on here, just awful. Sorry, guys. It stinks. A lot.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Life is too short for bad wine or lousy books. I got to just over 200 pages into this thing before I gave up. I just want to state for the record that I am a big fan of the movie, "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension" so I came in ready for overly complicated plots, too many characters, and over-the-top dialog. I loved the ridiculous nature of the movie and appreciated the self-aware too-muchness of it. But this booked just sucked. It is just badly written with dialog s Life is too short for bad wine or lousy books. I got to just over 200 pages into this thing before I gave up. I just want to state for the record that I am a big fan of the movie, "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension" so I came in ready for overly complicated plots, too many characters, and over-the-top dialog. I loved the ridiculous nature of the movie and appreciated the self-aware too-muchness of it. But this booked just sucked. It is just badly written with dialog scenes that go on for chapters and add nothing to the plot. Most of the characters have the same voice so its tedious to tell them apart. Several pages are devoted to describing bizarre medical ailments of the villains that go on and on. Its full of unnecessary and infantile, generally homoerotic, sexual references -- I've never read a book where so many characters genitalia were described. This, combined with the fact that all of the cuss words are misspelled (e.g., motherphawker, shite) gives this whole thing the feeling that it was written by a 12-year-old boy. Maybe that's what the author was going for. Maybe this is all one massive satire, but it's a tedious one that's over 500 pages long. I don't care enough to go on.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie Bozza

    Wow. Well. After decades of hoping for the impossible dream of a new Buckaroo Banzai novel - and by the original author, too - this has been one hell of an experience. I spent most of it thinking, "If it wasn't Earl Mac Rauch, I'd say commit the man." The novel started well, with a grand introduction, which established Hanoi Xan as (possibly) a creature who has lived 6000 years, with a tour through his various appearances in human history. Then a relatively banal chapter establishing B. Banzai an Wow. Well. After decades of hoping for the impossible dream of a new Buckaroo Banzai novel - and by the original author, too - this has been one hell of an experience. I spent most of it thinking, "If it wasn't Earl Mac Rauch, I'd say commit the man." The novel started well, with a grand introduction, which established Hanoi Xan as (possibly) a creature who has lived 6000 years, with a tour through his various appearances in human history. Then a relatively banal chapter establishing B. Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers in their current form, set maybe two or three years after the first novel. OK, I thought, now we have the exposition out the way, it'll pick up from here. But then we have four chapters dealing with a plethora of villains, all madly rambling and fixated on the scatological... Which all seemed pointless. Yes, it set up a global life-or-death challenge for Buckaroo, but very little of it seemed of any other interest. Once we get back to Buckaroo himself, we find he seems broken by the loss of Penny - and that was interesting, to see the great man brought so low and vulnerable. He finds the inner strength to rise to the global challenge, which is all well and good. But for such a long book, very little actually happens. There's very little actual plot (and I know I'm not a plotty author myself). This is all ramblings and digressions, from both the villains and the BBIs - and I got no sense at all that a second reading would tease out meanings that would only come clear in full context. There are good bits - a clever observation here, or turn of phrase there, an entertaining exchange of dialogue elsewhere. But these were few and far between. (view spoiler)[I liked Penny and how she handled her situation, and how this foreshadowed what later happens to Buckaroo (but we never got back to Penny later in the book, and I suppose we must wait for the promised / threatened sequel). There were suitable respects paid to the departed Rawhide. There were more women characters, and the introduction of intrepid reporter Mona Peeptoe. But even the BBIs hanging out together at the bunkhouse was spoiled by a male BBI going on and on at an uninterested Pecos about how much he loved her, backed up by "Perfect" Tommy. Maybe a realistic account of relations between men and women of the time, but not something that makes for a great read in the 2020s. And even back in the 1980s, would Buckaroo really recruit such immature people or let that sort of thing go on? (hide spoiler)] The penultimate chapter is told on a grand scale, balancing out the grand intro - and it's weirdly compelling (and unexpected!) at times. But if this novel wasn't about B. Banzai and his team, I wouldn't have made it past the second chapter. I am more baffled than bitter in my disappointment. If the sequel is ever published, and isn't just a tease, I'll read it. (Do you hear me, Dark Horse Books?) And you can just try prying my BBI badge from my cold dead hands (along with the Oxford comma). But... wow. Now, where's the fix-it fan fic, and what can it possibly do with this?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jefferson

    Buckaroo Banzai fans are likely to be disappointed by this convoluted, unreadable mess of a sequel. The characters have the same names but are otherwise unrecognizable -- this book contains none of the charm or style of the original film.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    A bonkers sprawl of a novel! The moments that gleam come together like many flecks of mica to make this massive granite boulder a thing of wonder.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Scott Mattson

    I was horriby disappointed in this book. I love the Buckaroo Banzai movie, I have seen it dozens of times. This book is no where near as good. The story is a lot longer than needed. There not a lot of Action. It's called against the World Crime League, but whoever they are, we don't know since they are not really involved in the book. Hanoi Xan started out as a main focus of the story, but then he kind of gets left to the wayside. There is a lot of hard to follow dialouge and odd characters tha I was horriby disappointed in this book. I love the Buckaroo Banzai movie, I have seen it dozens of times. This book is no where near as good. The story is a lot longer than needed. There not a lot of Action. It's called against the World Crime League, but whoever they are, we don't know since they are not really involved in the book. Hanoi Xan started out as a main focus of the story, but then he kind of gets left to the wayside. There is a lot of hard to follow dialouge and odd characters that take away from the story. I got the movie for the movie, but am now leary of reading it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Roger

    (Intercepted message. Transcript begins) “…kes, Blue Blaze Irregular, Texas chapter. Dr. Banzai: Greetings! Thank you for soliciting my commentary (and that of select other Irregulars) regarding the historical narrative titled Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League et al. This proved to be a thrilling account of what arguably may be your greatest adventure. I do not think I’m going out on a limb by saying this tome will most likely be of more interest to those of us who are already incul (Intercepted message. Transcript begins) “…kes, Blue Blaze Irregular, Texas chapter. Dr. Banzai: Greetings! Thank you for soliciting my commentary (and that of select other Irregulars) regarding the historical narrative titled Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League et al. This proved to be a thrilling account of what arguably may be your greatest adventure. I do not think I’m going out on a limb by saying this tome will most likely be of more interest to those of us who are already inculcated into the “Banzai culture” rather than those who are not. And I must add that there is an element of sexual sadism present I found distasteful and I am no prude. However I also comprehend the necessity of presenting an unalloyed account of events (warts and all as they say) and find myself applauding your integrity, as always-I am sure you insisted on a frank factual book. In the shorthand of book reviewers everywhere I have given this four stars, and hope my comments have been, if not insightful then at least constructive. Always a pleasure to communicate with you-due to current events however I must reign in my normal loquaciousness. We may have a Hanoi Xan sighting in…” (Transcript ends.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Written in a sort of academic tone that I just couldn't get into. Written in a sort of academic tone that I just couldn't get into.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dave Taylor

    I really loved the original Buckaroo Banzai by Earl Mac Rauch, then loved the film created from the book. Fun, silly, not too self-important. This ostensible sequel, however, written by "The Reno Kid" with Mac Rauch is just awful. Really disappointing, it's so poorly written in a "look how erudite I am writing with so many polysyllabic words" style that the prose is impenetrable and there might not even be a storyline. I got about 50 pages in and just couldn't stomach any more, asking myself "is I really loved the original Buckaroo Banzai by Earl Mac Rauch, then loved the film created from the book. Fun, silly, not too self-important. This ostensible sequel, however, written by "The Reno Kid" with Mac Rauch is just awful. Really disappointing, it's so poorly written in a "look how erudite I am writing with so many polysyllabic words" style that the prose is impenetrable and there might not even be a storyline. I got about 50 pages in and just couldn't stomach any more, asking myself "is this fun? Is this worth continuing to read?" Easily the most disappointing book I tried to read this year. I hope that someday an actual book editor might slash through this dreck, rewrite it to have a narrative arc, and pull out a fun 250-page book on the continuing adventures of cult hero Buckaroo Banzai, but it'd be quite a job. Meanwhile, avoid this like the plague; even if you love Buckaroo, this is just a fail.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    I honestly don't know who is crazier: Earl Mac Rauch, for writing this, or his publisher, for reading the insanity he handed them and thinking, "yeah, this is a book." For those not familiar with the property "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension" was a film produced in 1984 from a screenplay by Earl Mac Rauch. The film was a weird sci-fi action comedy about world renowned scientist/brain surgeon/rock star/secret agent Buckaroo Banzai, who has to prevent the destruction of e I honestly don't know who is crazier: Earl Mac Rauch, for writing this, or his publisher, for reading the insanity he handed them and thinking, "yeah, this is a book." For those not familiar with the property "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension" was a film produced in 1984 from a screenplay by Earl Mac Rauch. The film was a weird sci-fi action comedy about world renowned scientist/brain surgeon/rock star/secret agent Buckaroo Banzai, who has to prevent the destruction of earth by an alien race out to kill their deposed former dictator who now resides on earth, trapped in the body of a mental patient. To the extent the film works it's because it's very silly but played utterly straight. The film ends with the assurance that Buckaroo Banzai will return in 'Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League.' The film flopped but later found love as a cult film. Rauch later wrote a novelization of the film which played further into the faux-seriousness: the book purported to be a chronicle written by one of Buckaroo's bandmates trying to explain, in very literary prose, what actually happened when they went up against the evil alien Lectroids as opposed to the dramatization that was the 1984 film. The book touches on Buckaroo's clashes with the evil Hanoi Xan, a "yellow peril"-type villain at the head of the World Crime League. This book, released 37 years later, purports to finally tell that story. Unfortunately it's utter nonsense, with long, meandering, pointless dialogue scenes carelessly stitched into a threadbare retread of the plot of the film (alien dictator loose on earth, other aliens prepared to destroy world to stop him, only Buckaroo can save the day, etc) with no actual conflict involving the World Crime League. And when I say the dialogues are long, meandering, and pointless, I am if anything underselling them. One argument between two characters goes on across multiple chapters and consists largely of insults and dick jokes, with one of the characters speaking broken English in a way that might be offensive if it wasn't so inept. We're treated to at least two sequences where Buckaroo diagnoses an Air Force general's medical problems (including erectile dysfunction, daddy issues, and a variety of STDs for comic effect.) The general produces no particular effect on the plot, so this comes off as a bad gag at best. There's so much padding here, and while Rauch's writing style can be a bit amusing in an over-the-top way, by the time I was halfway through the book I was tired of it. A fair bit of the book involves an exploration of the philosophy shared by Buckaroo and his fellows at the Banzai Institute, which I will single out because of how incredible bizarre it is. In the world of Banzai, adherence to scientific reasoning is paramount, but every form of pseudoscience is revealed to be at worst an incomplete grasp of some genuine scientific reality. So we hear talk about orgone energy, and the luminous aether, and the healing powers of energy therapy. The word "quantum" is liberally bandied about to explain anything remotely mysterious. We're also told that Buckaroo's code focuses on honest self-knowledge and improvement coupled with a rejection of merely material things, yet we're also told frequently how adopting his philosophy has made his followers fabulously wealthy: one woman has a seven-figure deal to sell her cookware; another is making bank selling combat robots to the military. So enlightenment is swell, but make sure you get those dollar bills, y'all. What an absolute, inexplicable misfire. Who on earth read this 700 page madman's opus and decided it belonged in bookstores?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    I first watched the movie via screen-projected VCR in a college coffeehouse venue, surrounded by raucous enthusiasts but myself only there on account of the campy-awesome title. And I still remember the collective raspberry at the movie's final placard notifying the view of the imminent sequel Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League. (And this was a campus whose main computer center lab had systems named after the major characters.) Fast forward to January 2022. There's no getting around th I first watched the movie via screen-projected VCR in a college coffeehouse venue, surrounded by raucous enthusiasts but myself only there on account of the campy-awesome title. And I still remember the collective raspberry at the movie's final placard notifying the view of the imminent sequel Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League. (And this was a campus whose main computer center lab had systems named after the major characters.) Fast forward to January 2022. There's no getting around the fact that the quirkiness of the original material has turned Hunter S Thompson feral and is starting to gnaw the furniture. Rauch was apparently allowed to indulge his pent-up Banzai ideas and is clearly taking every possible opportunity to flood them forth. Practically none of it lands. The Reno Kid narrates with a dense style that is hard to muscle through. Lunatic characters fill their stage time with incoherent ranting. Phantasmagoria surrounds simple-seeming events. Everything seems dipped towards vulgar displays. And at page one hundred where I gave up, it was impossible to say what has actually transpired or where it was going, other than characters jabbering at one another and being unnecessarily weird. Admittedly the author takes a unique angle to get through this without turning Hanoi Xan into yet another repellent Fu Manchu figure: he is apparently not Asian and even more unhinged than the rest. I can't say what I was expecting out if this. Certainly another freewheeling adventure modeled after Doc Savage and the like, and with a coherent plot-based story. But this felt throw-it-at-the-wall experimental and not in a way where there are depths to be plumbed. This is crass, unstructured, and excessive. Possibly "everyone is crazy" parodic and maybe the intent was to set up Buckaroo as the gravity well around which this insanity orbits but that doesn't happen or doesn't happen early enough.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jester

    I tried...I really did. I bought the book in physical form and it arrived on release day. I was SOOOOO HAPPY! It was huge! I was going to spend hours and hours in it's glory. Then my body betrayed me as it's the first physical copy of a book I've bought in years and since I was old enough to see the original movie in the theater my eyes decided to tell me that unless I wanted to have all of the lights in my bedroom on at night and wear my glasses it just wasn't going to work. But that's okay...f I tried...I really did. I bought the book in physical form and it arrived on release day. I was SOOOOO HAPPY! It was huge! I was going to spend hours and hours in it's glory. Then my body betrayed me as it's the first physical copy of a book I've bought in years and since I was old enough to see the original movie in the theater my eyes decided to tell me that unless I wanted to have all of the lights in my bedroom on at night and wear my glasses it just wasn't going to work. But that's okay...for IP that I love I'm willing to shell out the money for the electronic version. So close to $50 in I start reading...and a week later I made it through the intro and half of the first chapter. It was unreadable. It's the first did not finish book for me in a long long time. Maybe I'll try again, maybe when the weather is nice, and I've got all of the time in the world, and no more books in my queue, eventually... But l have more important things to do with my life than read bad books, even if I've dropped a pretty penny (not a Penny Priddy...see what I did there?) on it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daryl

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ian Welke

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wil Alambre

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  18. 5 out of 5

    Buckaroo

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Holstein

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Young

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gooddoggy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Du4

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vince Lamacki

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Lyle

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  26. 4 out of 5

    William Paley

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lasika Avanni

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bill Martin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Kindel

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