Friday, April 03, 2015

books (mostly) on the bus

hello again

yes indeed, another two books read. well, they were both reasonably short books, look you see, and i sort of cheated with the last one, reading it away from the confines of the bus. that would be why, if you are at all interested, these reviews come so soon after the last ones.

what books, short as they were, did i read this time? curiously, or perhaps co-incidentally, they were both bought for a cost of £1 each, although from different sorts of establishments and in different circumstances. but you probably want to rather see the covers than hear this.



something of a quick, spoiler free review of both? very good, as it happens, very good indeed. i am unsure how the novel of All You Need Is Kill would compare to the film Edge Of Tomorrow, but we will get to that.

as usual, links to the books to the world's grocer are not an endorsement, affiliation or form of recommendation. they are there just for convenience and indeed as usual *** SPOILER WARNINGS *** are in place for the rest of this post. 

so, then, All You Need Is Kill, or Edge Of Tomorrow as it has been renamed for the film version, or indeed Live Die Repeat, since Amazon are unable to work out what is the name of a film and what is the tagline.

plot? at some point in the future, we - that being the world - are at war with a mysterious alien invader. everyone is thrown at the enemy in the hope of defeating them, including the protagonist of this novel. that protagonist happens to be an 18 year old Japanese lad, so yeah, i am rather interested to see how this will translate into the Cruise being in the part as and when i get to watch the film.

not surprisingly, or if you like unsurprisingly, the 18 year old Japanese lad does not do all that well in the battle. not too bad, in fairness, but not too well, in the sense that it ends for him via being killed by death. and then he wakes up on the day of the battle and gets all ready to do it again. and, as it happens, gets killed by death. and then he wakes up on the day of the battle, only with a puzzling, indeed curious sense of deja vu, or if you like the feeling that this has all happened to him before.

how and why is this happening to him? can't say as i don't want to be too much of a spoiler type for those interested in the book or the film. i can, however, say that it all gets resolved in a - by science fiction terms - logical, plausible way. so yeah, i really enjoyed it. impressive, as this was my first foray into Japanese literature. i expected it to be impenetrable, but it was all a good deal more English than i feared.

i bought this on a whim when i saw it for £1 on the shelf at Poundland. i am rather glad i did, even if at less than 200 pages (198 i think) it was a rather short, quick read.

can i wallow in memories? sure, it's my blog. once upon a time i was an avid, extensive reader of books based on screenplays, or novels that were turned into films. they were a standard issue back in the 80s, and very handy too, since it was usually a year after a film was released before it came out on video. books based on the screenplay were particularly boss, as they often included details and scenes cut from the released movie. the "school hostage" scene, for instance, off of Lethal Weapon was there in the novelization, but only appeared in the film when a 'Director's Cut' DVD came out, some 15 or so years after the movie was released.

back, for the fourth time this year, to the world of Peter Robinson, then, with the novel Dead Right. i picked this up at the village library for the accessible and attractive fee of £1.

plot? a lad is found murdered, somewhat by extensive kicking to death, near a pub. it, and you were given spoiler warnings but this is mostly all on the back of the book, transpires the lad was a leading figure in a right wing group, and so suspicion for responsibility for the kicking soon turns towards the rather less right wing, less white members of the community.

going on my experience of Peter Robinson thus far - which is to say that his main character, DCI Banks, chooses to conduct all police business in a pub - i sort of smiled to myself when i started reading this, as i was pretty sure it would be a case of all racial tensions and situations of unrest being solved over a pint, down the pub. a bit like, some of you may recall, how Sepp Blatter once speculated that any and all matters which happened on a football field could, surely, be resolved with a simple handshake after the match, and everyone could just get along. a nice thought, perhaps, but one that you do not really believe likely to work.

i was, as it happens, somewhat mistaken. very little of this novel actually happens in a pub, and for the most part it all seems to involved actual police and detective work. oh, for sure, certainly and of course the whole thing more or less ends up being resolved and solved via the English way of doing things in the last few pages, but it takes a while to get it there, and for once the actual culprit/s have good reason to do the decent thing.

this novel was published in 1997 in the first instance. i mention it as something called 'an internet' causes some mild curiosity in the constabulary investigating the case. one of the constabulary has a computer with 'an internet' at home, and uses it find the identity of someone wanted to have speaks with. i say this not to mock or laugh, but to show how unwired the world was once. it would certainly seem somewhat easier to find people via 'an internet' now than it was then.

the best Peter Robinson / DCI Banks book i have yet read? yes, i think. well, put it this way, i decided to finish off the last 100 or so pages today instead of wait for the next bus ride on Tuesday. but be warned, this is book 10 or 11 in the series, and you would have had to read at least some of the early ones to know which characters were being spoken of and why.



so, two pretty enjoyable reads on the bus. whereas i appreciate that science fiction is not for everyone, if you are a fan and have not read this one with Cruise on the cover i would strongly suggest you do so. i have, as i think i mentioned above, picked up the DVD, will watch it at some point i hope.

as ever, i hope these reviews have been of at least passing interest or at best of some use to someone out there, anywhere, that has access to 'an internet' thing.



be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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