I thought the concept was exciting and would have loved to learn more about this setting. Max Barry constructed a clever hypothesis, then populated it...moreI thought the concept was exciting and would have loved to learn more about this setting. Max Barry constructed a clever hypothesis, then populated it with intense characters that could easily be running around in our world just out of the public eye. That is his point - what if there were people (poets) who could influence the way we think by using words.
NLP? Hypnosis>? - that's just the tip of the iceberg for these folks.
To be honest, I did not like the way this story unfolded but understood why he did it. He wanted to demonstrate how seductive such a power would be to those who thought they could control access to it. Should there ever be a sequel (or series), I strongly suggest allowing the poets to show different sides to their mission and organization, perhaps by battling an external threat. Maybe something like the poets needing to prevent a military coup against an unpopular yet elected government leader. Do they have the right to interfere, or how do they decide which group to support? Can poets inadvertently fall victim to outside agendas?
Mr. Barry - call me if you decide to write THAT sequel! I'd love to be your beta reader.(less)
I think I understand where they were going with this story, but they failed to pull it together like earlier adventures in the series. It was difficul...moreI think I understand where they were going with this story, but they failed to pull it together like earlier adventures in the series. It was difficult to envision the layout of the setting so much that they resorted to numbered rooms, for Pete's sake. I couldn't figure out who the protagonist was, so ended up rooting for a minor character who at least seemed to have fun.
All flaws aside, this novel tries hard to carry the same genre-bending model you've come to expect from Dream Park. Perhaps the problem is that science is catching up to (and even surpassing) the fantastical elements introduced in the first novel oh so long ago. What we need now is for these talented authors to move beyond the printed word and devise a whole new way of blending story and virtual game together so we all can lose ourselves in a real world version of Dream Park... Two-point-oh.(less)
I picked this one up out of curiosity (enjoy watching 'King & Maxwell') and read it in a day. The plot-line was not very complex, although there w...moreI picked this one up out of curiosity (enjoy watching 'King & Maxwell') and read it in a day. The plot-line was not very complex, although there were plenty of twists and turns to carry you along. The main characters are not like their television counterparts, but that's okay -- these two are not cardboard cut-outs or barely disguised stereotypical PIs either. There are more books in this series and you can bet I'll be reading them soon. (less)
After hearing so many people murmur their appreciation for this book, I finally broke down and gave it a day of my precious writing time. That was tim...moreAfter hearing so many people murmur their appreciation for this book, I finally broke down and gave it a day of my precious writing time. That was time well spent (and actually took up a second day too).
Stephen King doesn't come off as a preachy know-it-all, although his sales figures could justify such a stance if he wanted to take it. Instead, he gave me a brief tour of his life and how his experiences led to the sort of "best practices" he uses to write. None of his tips stood out as holy writ handed down from on high but jumped off the page with a smack to the face that said, "duh, why didn't I see that for myself?"
My favorite piece of advice?
"When you write a story, you're telling yourself the story... when you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are NOT the story." (pg.57)(less)