I'm a sucker for promotional marketing, and I'm a big Indiana Jones fan, so you know these last few months have been rough on me. There's Indy paraphernalia everywhere, and I have to fight with myself not to buy it all. I was accosted by a table full of Indiana Jones books, and I limited myself to one and went with Why Did It Have To Be Snakes?
The book attempts to dissect each movie in order to discuss the scientific fact behind the parts of the story. Does it succeed in doing that? Yes, definitely, but not necessarily in a way that makes it enjoyable or readable.
Reading this book was a lot like reading Wikipedia, but not in the fun way, where you link from topic to topic in a logical string of connections. Instead, topics are broached in the order that they appear in the films, making for pretty disconnected reading. First you're reading about South American native tribes, then about how bullwhips work, then about Nazi airplanes and submarines, ending with a section on Judaism. Yes, all of that is central to the plot of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but reading about them in that order makes the book hard to handle.