Clue: A Novel by Michael McDowell

Clue: A Novel by Michael McDowell

The movie Clue wasn’t a great hit when it came out – in fact it was pretty well panned by the critics. It wasn’t until much later that it became popular with a cult following. This initial flop had unfortunate side effects on the other items that came out with the movie – especially the books. The lackluster movie performance meant that the books were quickly discontinued and forgotten.

Two books that came out with the movie were Clue by Michael McDowell, and Clue: The Storybook. I got a copy of the storybook via inter-library loan a few years back and uploaded a copy here. It’s a fairly short picture book, but does reveal a much-hinted at secret 4th ending that was never filmed. The Clue novelization by Michael McDowell, however, is much more of a standard length paperback.

While I have a lot of nostalgia for the movie, watching and quoting it endlessly, the McDowell book …. well…. leaves a lot to be desired. The writing isn’t good and it certainly doesn’t capture the fun of the movie. You won’t learn anything new and it pretty much follows the movie shot-for-shot. Still, for a fan, it’s worth a casual read.

I have a copy of the novelization, but prices have been getting stratospheric lately. Running as much as $200-$400. I have considered scanning my book for posterity, just like I did for Clue: The Storybook.

But until I get to that stage, you can actually listen to an amature reading of the un-abridged version via the above YouTube video. Read by Austin Curry (sp?), he does mispronounce words on occasion, but it’s more than good enough to give a listen. You can also download a mirrored copy of the audiobook version here if the YouTube link breaks (again).

2023 UPDATE!: you can now read and download the McDowell Clue book from the Internet Archive!!

If you’d like to download McDowell’s Clue book, I also put a PDF copy locally here for posterity.

Title : Clue
Author : Michael McDowell
ISBN : 9780449130490 
ISBN10: 0449130495
LCCN : 85091213
Publisher: New York : Fawcett Gold Medal
Publication date: November 12, 1985 by Fawcett
188 pages, Mass Market Paperback

2 thoughts on “Clue: A Novel by Michael McDowell

    1. I sadly have no idea. It was probably a decent number because they are copies for sale on various used book sites and ebay all the time. I would guess it was probably a standard printing of 20,000-60,000. It’s definitely not a rare book, just a bit collectable on the copies that are still around.

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