Tagged: pop culture

Discussion: Books You Want to See Adapted

Every book fan has had their favourite book butchered in either movie or television form.  (Trust me, I used to be an Eragon fan.)  But sometimes you get a very faithful adaptation of the books that are in some ways even better than the source material.  See: Harry Potter (done well) and Game of Thrones (sometimes even better, sometimes worse but generally done well).  One of the things that really annoys me about movies these days is that they’re remaking movies that no one wants to see remade: movies that just came out a couple of years ago, classics, etc.

Then that got me thinking: what if the movie industry decided to adapt more worthy books instead of remaking old movies again and again?

One of the books I would love to see on the silver screen is Feed by Mira Grant.  Zombies are popular now and Shaun and Georgia are main characters that are fairly easy to relate to.  Mira Grant wrote the book in such a cinematic fashion that it would be very easy to adapt and make a two to two and a half hour movie out of the novel without really cutting all that much.  Plus, there’s a ton of humour, political intrigue and of course zombies (with extra added science!).  If the right director got his/her hands on it, I would probably be first in line to go see it as a movie.

What I want to know now is this: If a good director that stayed faithful to the source material was going to adapt any book, what book would you want to see as a movie or a TV show?  Why?

The Beauty of Fiction

Beautiful Fiction

As I learned years ago, fiction is a beautiful thing for so many different reasons.  It can teach you about the real world, provide an escape and bring history to life.  Of course it can do so much more than that, but those are the main reasons why I love fiction.

Literature has been a driving force in pop culture for hundreds of years from Charles’ Dickens Oliver Twist to Harry Potter.  So many different books have left their marks on world history, but more importantly on the lives of many individuals.  When you find that one book that really changes your outlook on life it’s a hard feeling to put into words.

When you find that book that changes your life, it leaves you quite literally breathless when you finish it.  You close the book, maybe stare at it for a few seconds and then slowly release your breath as you’re sucked back into reality.  You get that odd feeling in your chest that’s a mixture of sadness, amazement and sheer awe. Continue reading

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline(Cover picture courtesy of Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review.)

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place.  The only time teenager Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS.  Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize.  The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I’ll put it bluntly: I really, really enjoyed Ready Player One.  Yes, it seems to have the plot of almost every movie where the key to solving a puzzle and winning a huge prize is being nerdy, but that’s the point of Ernest Cline’s debut novel.  It’s supposed to be dorky and slightly cliché but is so well written and actually does have quite a few plot twists that you’ll love it anyway.

If you love 80’s pop culture (or even late 90’s), you’ll love Ready Player One.  You’ll love it if you like sci-fi, video games, old movies or music.  Basically, it’s a hard book not to like.  Wade is an awesome character, especially near the end when he matures up a bit and you’d be hard-pressed not to like any of the other important characters like Art3mis, Aech, Shoto or Daito.

Even if you don’t like any of them, the world-building Ernest Cline did is incredible.  OASIS is absolutely amazing and a lot of the elements that he put into it (the threat of being charged a user fee, advertisements, using it as an escape) will speak to pretty much all internet users today.  Even if you’re not big into the technology scene, if you’ve been paying attention to pop culture at any point in time these past three decades or so, you’ll get at least some of the references.  Hey guys, remember Atari?

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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A Legend Should Never Be Dimmed

This post was brought on by two things, as usual: my father and a book.  Since who says I can’t be logical sometimes, I’ll start with the former.

Now, my father is a big opera fan; he’s always appreciated opera, a trait he inherited from his mother.  Moreover, he’s a huge Luciano Pavarotti fan and almost shows emotion when he speaks of his death.  He’s not someone who you would call starstruck, but he greatly admired the legend that was Luciano Pavarotti.  Understandably, he was quite outraged when it came out that Pavarotti’s last performance at the Torino Olympic ceremony in 2006 was lip-synched.  At the time, he said something that still haunts me:

“That should never have come out.  A legend should never be dimmed.” Continue reading