The blog of the highly opinionated Sgt. Octopus

Posts tagged “literature

four thousand two hundred thirty-seven

Let’s not talk about how I didn’t make it to 50,000 words.

And stopped before I crossed that finish line.

four thousand two hundred thirty-seven.

Instead let us focus on the good things that happened this month:

I started writing for fun again.

I did start reading a bit more than usual.

I got five days with the one I love.

Snuggling, reading, secret kisses.

Admiring the glitter of snow while holding hands.

Coffee is making its way up my drinkable beverages list.

Never mess with Starbucks.

Tumblr has lost its appeal as a procrastination machine.

I have two weeks of school left and

a homework pile that makes NaNoWriMo

look like a spec of dust.



Hogwarts, Hogwarts…

Anyone else miss those days when the world seemed so simple?

Harry Potter has always represented that time for me. A time when all I wanted was my own letter to Hogwarts so I could get out of my own Dursley-ish hell. It’s been ages since I first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerers’ Stone, it has long passed from the minds of the world, and yet I’m still here.

I’m dealing with barely having enough money to do the things I need to do, much less want to do. A harsh reality. Not knowing where to go or what to do. There’s this sense that I’m alone in the world in ways that I don’t want to be.

My parents don’t care much more than they have to, they have their own problems to deal with as they can barely take care of themselves. My friends have long been disconnect. And my boyfriend is the sweetest soul in the world and I feel bad constantly asking for his help. It’s not fair. Not fair to him. Not fair to me. Not fair to life.

But here’s the problem. No one really seems to like me. I don’t know why. Am I blinded to something that everyone else notices? I just want to know what this wall is between me and the rest of the world. This thing that keeps me isolated from the good parts of this world. The friendships.

I know I need help. And I don’t mean in a I’m in a deep depression sort of help. My mind isn’t the sort to go there. It won’t let me. It’s too afraid. But if life has taught me anything people don’t care to help you unless you have hit rock bottom…

I wrote this a few weeks ago. Things are better now.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

372 pages / August 2011 / Add on Goodreads

The amounts of nerd put into this book made it a worthy read for any who enjoy a bit of nerd culture.

Ready Player One is the story of Wade Watts, a young treasure hunter in a virtual world called OASIS, as he searches for the ultimate treasure left behind by the game’s designer.

I picked this book up solely because of Wil Wheaton. Through his appearances on the Guild and Big Bang Theory and this epic game of Dungeons and Dragons I watched on YouTube one time, I have become a big fan of his geeky works. So when I found out he read the audiobook for Ready Player One, I decided I had to listen to it. And I’m honestly glad I did!

Ready Player Oneis not the best book ever written, but it is a highly entertaining one. It is really the plot of the book where it fully shines, though it is not overly original or spectacularly made. Cline seems to have just taken some great elements of stories and meshed them together into one, creating a rather entertaining novel though not really ground breaking.

Despite the horrendous amount of info dumps, I really don’t have much to complain about when it comes to the writing. It was a pretty straight forward prose. In many ways, I’d have to say the info dumping kind of added to the main character, which feels super weird to say because I hate info dumps more than anything. At least Cline had a knack for writing them and it seemed to fit well with a rambling geek of a character who probably could have spent twice as long talking about any of the subjects that were brought up in the info dumps. It really doesn’t create for the most interesting narrative, but it does create a real character and I was rarely ever bored through them.

Another aspect of that saved the info dumps was Wil Wheaton. I don’t think a better voice could have been chosen to read this novel. He made it easy to imagine the novel as a character telling people of his exploits a couple years after the events happened. The audiobook, in a sense, made it feel more like I was listening to an epic autobiography rather than a work of fiction.

This book also had a rather unique way to make a lot of really weird stuff happen without it seeming out of place, after all anything is possible in a virtual world. I think the author did a good job of showing how having a life in the virtual world can really effect who you are irl. He probably could have gone deeper into it, but that really wasn’t what the story was about so it never seemed to have mattered.

It seems to me that a lot of people focus on the 80s pop culture mentioned in the book, when to me that just became an added a dose of realism to the world created. Ready Player One was simply a great adventure of a book, that really just put me in the mood to play wow and classic video games… which in retrospect probably counteracts the message it was trying to give.

Oh well.

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (Issues #1-90)

Oh my god.

For the first time in a while I have actually just raced through a series as if it were candy, and the books that actually caused this oh so rare phenomenon? The Walking Dead.

I’m sure many of you have heard of the the AMC television series of the same name, well these are the comics it was based after. And, sorry to repeat myself, but oh my god are they fantastic!

The plot is really nothing to be overly excited about, it’s basically the story of a man trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. It chronicles the aventures of Rick Grimes as he tries to find safety for his family and a few people they meet along the way. What really sets this tale apart in my mind is how it is never really about finding a cure or saving the world. It’s just simply about survival.

And speaking of survival, one of my favorite things about these comics is how no one is safe. Ever. Doesn’t matter who you are. It really gives the books a sense of realism in the end, as even the reader is put on edge during every turn of the page because who knows the death of your favorite character could be waiting for you on the other side. And while there are quite a few moments of just dumb luck, the author really knows how to balance it in such a way that you really never know who is going to make it out safely.

It is really the characters that cause this book to truly stand out. Even with so many new characters being introduced and so many dying right away, Kirkman is able to give each and every one a completely unique voice. And reading through the first 90 issues, I’m sure he doesn’t even know the meaning of a Mary Sue or John Doe type character.

All and all, I’d definitely recommend this series for anyone who doesn’t have a weak stomach, because the art is truly horrific at times. Seriously, unless you can handle gore, this is not the comic for you. The artists behind this really knew what they were doing and thus did a fantastic job on it. I’m really looking forward to seeing where else this series goes.