Title: Drago: On Mountains we Stand
Author: Todd Noy
Published by: The Noy Estate
Publication date: 1991?
Source: Personal Collection
Get the book here – I think you can get a copy somehow by messaging the facebook page? I don’t know, my copy was given to me by a friend.
Where do you even begin to write about a book that on it’s first page has this wonderful disclaimer; “The following work is a gross abuse of copyright.” ? It put me right in the frame of mind that I am reading some sort of illegally (yet somehow) still published fan-fiction! Yet, I think that would be doing some fan-fiction writers a great dis-service.
Drago: On Mountains we Stand is the continuation of Ivan Drago (From Rocky 4) story. What the character did after the film and how he continued his life – as well as a look back through his former training – which to me seem a little bit far-fetched and frankly at times absurd; which is where I get the idea that this book was just Noy’s personal take on the character of Ivan Drago and the content of the small novel (This book is a tiny 87 pages long and could be easily read in one sitting) is little more than fantasist obsession.
I believe I was sent this book because I am a pretty big Stallone fan; although I have seen the Rocky films I’ve not watched them recently enough to be a true expert when it comes to commentary on this book. What I do recall though was how stoic and silent Ivan Drago was in the movie from which this book follows. I think Dolph Lundgren only had about four or five lines throughout the entire film, so finding out that Drago is actually filled with guilt about killing Apollo Creed and wants to go up against the team that betrayed him after his defeat (and messed up his entire life so badly) feels somewhat incredulous – but a plot is a plot and the book actually takes you through the journey rather nicely; with a few dramatic twists that get good old Rocky back into the picture.
I don’t know if this is the intention for the novella, but to me, it feels like it is the first draft of something that should be bigger and go a bit deeper in both content and description. The brief chapters (while complete and comprehensive) feel like they should have a lot more packed into them. What we’re presented with feels very much like a newspaper report or a skim-read version of something which should feel a lot bigger.
It’s not all doom and gloom, but I just feel that a bigger Rocky fan would have gotten a lot more out of this story than I did – especially if they were head-over-heels for Ivan Drago (I believe he does have fan boys and girls out there!) That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I found the short chapters very refreshing, it meant I could cram a couple in really quickly when making a cup of tea. I found the characterisation of Rocky very fitting to what I recall the character being like on the screen.
Most importantly though, because of my prior thoughts to the way the book was written, I could easily see it be converted to a screenplay and made into ‘canon’ which would be pretty amazing considering the books, ‘breach of copyright’ beginnings.