"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself? "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do...more"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself? "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?" "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.
(view spoiler)["Pooh," said Christopher Robin earnestly, "if I--if I'm not quite---" he stopped and tried again. "Pooh, whatever happens, you will und...more(view spoiler)["Pooh," said Christopher Robin earnestly, "if I--if I'm not quite---" he stopped and tried again. "Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won't you?" "Understand what?" "Oh, nothing."
C.K. Kelly Martin's first adult book. There is nothing this woman can't write. I got to read it back in January and I will write more when she releases it this June, but it is one of the most raw, realistic, heartbreaking (and romantic and sexy!) books I have ever read about grief and finding your footing after a tragic and senseless loss. No holds barred on the devastation, but hopeful in the way only C.K. can do. I love it so much and it made me cry 5,000 times.(less)
Here is a fun game: take all the Blake Nelson books you own (you should own several), step back and admire how distinct the voice of each book's narra...moreHere is a fun game: take all the Blake Nelson books you own (you should own several), step back and admire how distinct the voice of each book's narrator is. I KNOW.
Man, going to Wellington with Andrea Marr was fun. It was just so effortlessly and seamlessly her--it picks up her story right after GIRL without taking a breath. I think my favourite thing about both novels is that Blake Nelson totally gets the endless series of transitions life is. You're here and then you're there and sometimes it's a big deal and it's not, or it's not when it should be, or it should be and it is. I also think there's a lot of power in the idea that yer path in life doesn't have to have a set destination, especially now when there is this weird pressure on people to know exactly what they're doing by the time they're eleven. Another nice idea here: it's okay to let go of the things you thought you wanted, even if you invest a lot of time and energy into them. There's this nice culture of guilt surrounding doing THAT these days too. BUT GUESS WHAT. There shouldn't be! Sometimes that's how it's supposed to be. So. I just loved this. Andrea's voice is so raw and realistic and I love following it.
(Also for books set in the early to mid-nineties they are TIMELESS.)
I feel like so much of what YA has turned out to be (the good parts, obviously) is because of GIRL. Its sequel was wonderful.(less)
Video games are wonderful things! They make me aspire to be a more dynamic storyteller and interacting with environments has helped me look more clear...moreVideo games are wonderful things! They make me aspire to be a more dynamic storyteller and interacting with environments has helped me look more clearly at my own worldbuilding and consider the way I want to approach worldbuilding in future books. Even if video games did not inspire me as a writer in any way, shape or form, they would still be wonderful things because THEY ARE FUN AND I ENJOY THEM!
I love you, video games.
Alan Wake is a good video game. I loved it; it is one of the reasons I wanted an Xbox. The gameplay is pretty fun (not super special but fun), it's amazingly atmospheric--sooo pretty and scary--but the best thing about it is the incredibly immersive story (from its Wikipedia page): "The plot follows bestselling thriller novel writer Alan Wake, as he uncovers the mystery behind his wife's disappearance while both are on vacation in the small town of Bright Falls in the U.S. state of Washington, where he experiences blackouts and visions of characters and ideas from his latest novel, which he cannot remember writing, coming to life. Darkness plays a significant role in the game, and the core combat gameplay of Alan Wake consists of "fighting with light."
It's just really great. It is psychological and tragic and the characters are fantastic. Just great great great in my eyes. ANYWAYS. I should talk about the novelization right? Once I found out it existed I wanted to read it and see how the story held up without a controller in my hand and I think writing a video game novelization would be awesome (maybe one day my new dream of writing one will come true?) and I wanted to see what they were like so I figured I might as well start by reading a novelization of a game I loved. The good news is--Alan Wake holds up on the page. This was actually a really fun novel and I think people could enjoy it if they knew nothing whatsoever about the game, but I can't imagine anyone without an interest in the game picking it up, unfortunately. I think it could appeal to people who like easy-to-read thrillers/horror stories with a fair bit of action. I don't think you would regret the time you spent with this novel. I didn't. I can actually see myself re-reading it.
Here are some observations I made while reading this:
- I wished it was written in first person! It's a third person shooter, though, so I suppose the POV choice makes sense. But Alan's voice is so distinct in the game I was hoping for more of it here. He's such a jerk in the game! I like jerks. Having his jerkiness related to me in third person didn't endear him to me as much for some reason.
- The video game has more gravitas, to be honest. I mean the ending of the game is so emotional and cinematic and the last line is incredible oh mah gawd you guys I love this game spoilers spoilers look at this beauty it was the most rewarding and bittersweet conclusion to hours of fighting in the dark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5dLME... but here I just felt one step removed from the heart of Alan's journey (his quest to find Alice) as I read. I do think Burroughs nailed the action though and what it would be like to be running through the woods all the time and being tired and scared. He was also great at relating the setting. Bright Falls felt like Bright Falls to me. And I liked the way Alan's inserted manuscript pages enhanced the story. This was more of a ride than an emotional journey and I think some people who love the game will penalize it for that but I read it fairly quickly and enjoyed myself so I can't, to be honest. I will just play the game if I need to shed tears over Alan's ultimate outcome!
- The same traits that make the secondary characters SO ENDEARING in the game do not serve them as well in the book. I am thinking of Barry, mostly. Barry is so earnest and ridiculous in the video game--true comic relief which after a certain point is really needed because you are SO TENSE as you play--but in the book, he's kind of a caricature. And it's funny because he's not exactly out of character in the book but I guess it just didn't work as well for me here. His dancing and air-guitar was less appreciated. Also I gave the scuba diver who hangs out in the light and helps Alan a side-eye when I played the video game. He does not translate so well in the book. I mean objectively he is the most necessary light swimming scuba diver ever but really that imagery was hard for me to take seriously from the beginning.
- I am pretty stupid! I really felt, getting into this, it would be a complete and total play-by-play of the video game. So much of Alan Wake is RUNNING THROUGH THE DARK and I was like maaan, how is the book going to make that interesting? Is he going to have to relate every single puzzle solving moment? Are we going to go through the ghost town? I mean it's one thing when you are playing as Alan Wake himself but I am not sure I want to read about someone running through the dark THAT much. But, duh much of the game's running and action is condensed in the interest of keeping the book moving forward and the tension up. But I seriously am stupid for thinking every single moment of the video game was going to make it into the book. Also stupid because part of me was waiting for the scuba diver to give Alan the tutorial on how to shoot and dodge in the opening pages, hah. I don't even know why I am sharing this observation because it is really just an observation of how stupid I can be. OH WELL.
- (view spoiler)[I did not like Alice and Sarah's moment at the end of the book. I wish the ending had been to-the-letter from the video game, to be honest. That ending is one of the best endings ever anywhere. (hide spoiler)]
- The book clarified some of the game's story for me! Definite plus. There are parts near the end of the game, for example, where certain histories are being related in voice overs and it turns out I was only half listening to them! And then the second time I played Alan Wake I skipped all the cut scenes, so. And it is such a whirlwind, mind-messing of a game that, well. Sometimes I need things spelled out for me. I was glad of that here because it made me love the game even more. So that was good.
I like this book. I love the game. The story holds up in both formats. Yay! You should play it and read it and to be honest, you should also buy the soundtrack because it's fantastic too. (MAYBE I AM LISTENING TO IT RIGHT NOW!)
(In related news I am not sure about Alan Wake's American Nightmare. Go back to Bright Falls, Alan! That is where you are most interesting to me.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)