I've finally started reading through my collected books again after a long break. Started reading and finished Treasure Planet by Kiki Thorpe. Was a quick read. Currently halfway through Metropolis by Osamu Tezuka.
Just finished Metropolis by Osamu Tezuka (my first ever Manga) and boy, there's some crazy stuff in there. They even had giant rats in the story that were effectively a naked Mickey Mouse, they were definitely taking jabs at Disney there.
Also just started reading Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by James Rollins. I have heard a lot of good things about this book, and so far I've only managed to get through the first few sections but so far the opening is 1000x better than the final product we got of the movie. And that is coming from me who finds Crystal Skull to be fantastic.
Finished Crystal Skull last night. Damn, SO much better than the movie (although I prefer the ship design in the movie).
Started on Back to the Future by George Gipe and so far I'm beyond happy that it's the version of the movie where Eric Stoltz was supposed to play Marty! This will probably be the closest I ever get to seeing that version of the film, in book form.
Finished Back to the Future by George Gipe. Honestly better than the movie IMO however the "future clothes" that Doc wears at the end is very different from the movie version, and prefer the movie version of those clothes.
Starting Back to the Future 2 by Craig Shaw Gardner.
Just finished The Running Man by Stephen King last night. I won't spoil it but I am very surprised how it is almost entirely different from the movie, the only parts that remain the same as the film is that there's a show called The Running Man ran by a guy called Killian and Ben Richards is a contestant of the show, trying to survive with his life, and that the show twists the audience against their contestants.
While I liked the story, it sort of falls apart and rushes itself at the end, without tying the loose ends raised in the story earlier. That was a bit disappointing. Also the book has a lot of racism in it. Not even racism that benefits the story much in any way, it's just racism for the sake of racism. Perhaps King was trying to show what the people are like in this world he's created, but for me it was walking a fine line between racism for world/character building and racism directly from the author. Honestly the story would've been just as fine without that level of racism, but it is what it is.
I do prefer the movie, but it was certainly interesting to read this version of the story that the film bases itself on, and couldn't quite believe how bleak it was in its entirety.
Will be starting 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke tonight.
Finished 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. Now I'm someone who finds the movie to be technically and visually masterful, but the story of the movie loses me at the end, because I honestly can't comprehend WTF is happening with the main character, so it just ends in a stupid way IMHO with a giant baby.
The book fixes the issues I had with the movie on a story level entirely. Not only that but it details cosmic wonders that the movie never made an attempt to show visually. It provides context to the monolith and its origins, as well as provides an explanation for what the monoliths are, and most importantly, explains what happened to the main character and why there's a giant baby floating in space.
For anyone who like me struggles to grasp the jittery storytelling methods of Kubrick for the end of the movie 2001, the book will have you covered and then some. The book is IMHO better than the movie. I would absolutely recommend it, if not for the better context and details, then for being able to revisit 2001 in a new way other than movie form.
Will be starting The Abyss by Orson Scott Card tonight.
Finished The Abyss by Orson Scott Card. I enjoyed the book, but due to my own personal experiences, I really dislike Lindsey as a character, mostly because of the reasons created to explain the divorce between Lindsey and Bud. As such, I could not stand to see her get a happy ending. I haven't seen the movie in a long time so I don't know if the movie contains the backstory of their divorce, but if not then for me personally I prefer the movie. If so, then I think the book does a nice job of adapting the story.
Will cease reading books until the later end of next week, vacation time.
Finished Raiders of the Lost Ark by Campbell Black. That was quite a slog to get through. Don't get me wrong, the story was fine. It had way more connotations that Indiana Jones was actually a pedo towards Marion since the book plays up the whole her being a child and him being older and should know better schtick. Even to the point where Marion's father absolutely never forgave Indy for the rest of his life.
That didn't bother me, but it does dive into that a bit more. For me the problem is that it's not very well chaptered. When you start off, there's a few long chapters and a few short ones, but the short ones are only 1 or 2 pages long, whereas the long ones consist of a large chunk of the book, which is most of the chapters. As someone who likes to finish a chapter before placing a bookmark and taking a break, especially reading at night, I found I was unable to do that with this book. I got too tired before I even got close to the end of the chapter, so I had to break in mid chapter. I don't like doing that but I had little choice. D.A.R.Y.L. by N. H. Kleinbaum is very well chaptered and is consistent throughout keeping the same length chapters through the book, but that is not the case with Raiders. It's not a major issue, as I've read books with similar structure before, but I don't have to like it. As a result it took me longer than usual to read through the book entirely.
Other than that, it was an enjoyable read. I'll be starting Mars Attacks! by Jonathan Gems tonight.
Finished Mars Attacks! by Jonathan Gems last night. It was fun! The chapters are well spread out and well paced but it still takes some time to get through. Granted it doesn't give you the visuals, music, sound effects etc that the movie provides, but it's still a nice companion piece.
After I finished that, I was able to start and finish the entirety of Prince of Persia The Sands of Time by James Ponti before I went to sleep. This was a quick read! I was able to get through it in around 3 hours. It's well chaptered and paced, my only gripe is the ending. The movie's ending is better since it actually shows the bad guy losing. The book only hints towards the protagonist will go ensure he loses when he's ready to and leaves it there. I can't help but feel like James was rushed to finish the book without fleshing out/adapting the ending properly. It is what it is. Quick and enjoyable enough.
Will start 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke tonight.
Finished 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke last night. Now that I've seen both of the movies and read both of the books, It's an odd criss-cross of what I like. See for 2001, I prefer the book over the movie. For 2010, I prefer the movie over the book. Now you understand the criss-cross!
2010: Odyssey Two felt like more of a slow burn slog read to get through. Now the chapters are nicely laid throughout and are all of reasonable length, however the story doesn't hold much suspense at first. With 2001 there was the suspense of an AI going rogue and that filled the main first bulk of the story leading up to the wonderous moment at the end. You don't have that with 2010, instead we have to learn about Heywood's family and the rest of the crew and how they are travelling up to the place they are heading, before we get a wonderous moment at the end.
It's not all doom and gloom however, there are some sprinkles of coolness as we get a cool description of Europa and the crash landing there which was pretty awesome honestly. But then that story just vanished and it was back to describing the crew and how they are getting to where they need to be and what they've left behind on Earth etc. The only thing that breaks this up is the idea that they want to try to fix Hal by visiting the ship from 2001.
There was some interesting stuff following David Bowman and what wonders he finds in his new form, including visiting Jupiter and what limited life it has. The descriptions were very cool, it was a nice little vacation from the monotony of reading about the crew.
I felt that the movie did a much better job of presenting all of this, probably better aided with soundtrack and editing etc. However, the Epilogue at the end of the book was really cool to read in its entirety. Part of me felt like the Epilogue is just there as an apology for the lackluster first 3rd of the book, but it was still a cool note to end on. Not to spoil it, but the Epilogue is set YEARS beyond the events of the sequel books "2061: Odyssey Three" and "3001: The Final Odyssey". THAT is what makes the Epilogue even cooler in my honest opinion.
So with that being said, I will start 2061: Odyssey Three by Arthur C. Clarke tonight. I do not own "3001: The Final Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke yet but I do intend to obtain it to get the complete story. When or where I cannot say, the future is always clouded, impossible to see. And of course, there are no movie adaptations of 2061 and 3001, so I will only be going purely off of the books.
Finished 2061: Odyssey Three by Arthur C. Clarke. Well chaptered, chapters are not too long either so it goes easy on the reader. As I was reading through it, I thought to myself that it might be my favorite book out of them all (so far), and it very nearly is, but not quite. It just has 3 small things that prevent it from being so. But first, the good points.
Absolutely no monotony regarding the crew this time around, in fact it had lots of wonder to go around and I found myself enjoying every second. 2061 has the pacing that 2010 should've had for the first third of the book, absolutely no complaints at all there. I enjoyed the characters that are presented, however early on in the book I thought 2 characters would wind up together in a relationship based on the setup but it didn't happen, I was kinda rooting for it but ah well can't hold it against the book.
Now for the 3 small things. And these all involve the end of the book. 2 of these are that 2 chapters are almost word-for-word excerpts from the 2010: Odyssey Two book. I got heavy de ja vu reading it, and I could've overlooked the one in the chapter "Trinity" but the chapter "Fire & Ice" is absolutely inexcusable, it serves no purpose to the story, even more when I've already read that in the previous book. It's out of place in my honest opinion.
The third thing is that the ending felt a bit abrupt, like it just got halted and then got fast-tracked to reach an immediate conclusion. Granted it's my first time reading going in from previous books but even so It felt like it just tried to tie everything off a little too quickly for my liking. Perhaps this would not have been so bad, had the "Fire & Ice" chapter been focused spending a bit more time tying up loose ends, instead of just giving us a few pages from the 2010 book.
It is what it is. Also there is no movie adaptation, but if there was I'd sure like to hope it wouldn't end so abruptly and the story beats near the end are paced well enough to account for that.
Overall, recommended. To be quite honest if it were not for the abrupt ending chapters this would've been my favorite Odyssey book, however as it currently stands it is as follows:
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey 2. 2061: Odyssey Three 3. 2010: Odyssey Two
I will update this ranking whenever I obtain/read 3001: The Final Odyssey.
Next up is E.T. The Extra Terrestrial by William Kotzwinkle.
Finished E.T. The Extra Terrestrial by William Kotzwinkle. Overall it was a decent companion piece to the movie. I would say that the book is both a little better AND a little worse than the movie, because the book has elements that enhance the movie, providing more context to what's happening, but at the same time it has some things which are a bit ridiculous that borderlines on cartoonish, including talking plants. Not even joking there, and I am forever grateful that isn't in the movie. The trick-or-treating with E.T. is very different in the book from the movie, which was a nice surprise. Kinda wish that was in the movie but it is what it is.
It is chaptered, and the chapters are all of reasonable reading length, as such it was a relatively quick read (roughly 6 hours give or take). A complete read for a long road trip, train commute or plane travel. The chapters are not numbered, nor do they have their own titles, so you just have to go with the flow.
I'd recommend it, it gives a nice perspective from E.T. himself which was refreshing since the movie seems to show it more from the perspective of the kids.
Next up tonight will be Explorers by George Gipe, sticking with the 80s alien movie theme.
Well, unfortunately I tried to read Explorers by George Gipe, and upon arriving at Chapter 3, I found that half of the page was torn away, making the book unreadable (at least to me). As such I cannot give a genuine review, and will wait until I eventually find a better copy.
As a result, I decided to begin Dracula by Bram Stoker instead.
Since I was disappointed by Explorers I decided to go down and visit the charity stores local to me to see if they had any new books to help console me. I was able to obtain the final book in the set, "3001: The Final Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke. I made sure to check all pages were present and not ripped, and it is in perfect condition so I'd say I'm definitely consoled.