I'm so relieved to finally hear someone else discussing Peter Hyams' The Relic having actually read the original novel and understanding on a "deeper" level why Hyams' version is so terrible. They left out the most interesting character (Pendergast) thus the heart of the story for goodness sake! I kinda understood when I watched the film (just the once) why they did it, but it's still so much worse a movie for it. Actually, I've just noticed that the Pendergast series of books has been released on audiobook, so I think I'll be making a return to Preston/Child's book (pulp goodness!) after eighteen years. Maybe not the film, though.