Sorry for the long delay between posts everyone. I’ve been extremely busy getting ready for my vacation to Hawaii. The vacation is over (sigh) but at least I got a tan and managed to read a number of novels that I had been interested in for a while. I won’t be giving a full review of each of the novels but I am going to give my quick impressions of them. The four books are Ready, Player One, Life of Pi, The Road and Run, Rabbit (unfinished).
Ready, Player One
Ready, Player One is a science fiction novel by Ernest Cline that follows Parzival in an economically collapsed future as he tries to win the fortune of the eccentric billionaire James Halliday through a scavenger hunt/puzzle in the virtual reality world known as OASIS (good name). I was alerted to this book by some of my co-workers who noted some of the similarities with my own novel. Aside from the nightclub scene (we both conceived of nightclubs in the shape of a sphere where everyone dances on the inside surface of the sphere with the DJ in the middle – eerily similar but it appears to have happened in parallel. I wrote that scene long before Cline’s 2011 publication date. I guess that great minds think alike), the plots and world are fortunately completely different. The story isn’t complicated but it is really well done and it’s extremely fun. I was continually pulled forward to see what would happen. It’s a lot of fun and a great read. Highly recommended.
Life of Pi
Wow. All I can say is wow. I got interested in finally reading the book after watching Ang Lee’s amazing movie. The book has been well-known for a while but I never had the time. I now wish that I had made the time. The book is stunning. It’s unique, it’s unconventional, it uses a number of interesting techniques like unreliable narrator and multiple perspectives to really pull together something that is special. It’s an amazing book that forces us to consider our relationship to god and what it means. Outstanding and highly recommended.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy was somewhat of a disappointment. The story of a father guiding his son along the eponymous road in post-apocalyptic U.S., The Road was highly celebrated, highlighted by the Pulitzer Prize in 2006. After working my way through it, I really think that it was overhyped. It is a good novel but it’s vastly inferior to McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. It does have some great moments of poetry and other moments of horror but it lacks the broader narrative that keeps pulling the reader forward. I would recommend something else instead.
Run, Rabbit by John Updike was a novel I just couldn’t get into and ultimately abandoned. It’s about a former star high school basketball player who has a mid-life crisis at age 27. Perhaps it was an important novel for its era (1960) but I just couldn’t bring myself to care about a character who is so passive and reactive to the problems in his life. I got through about 60 pages and then I lost interest. Not recommended.
That’s it for the quick reviews. I’m working myself through Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridan at the moment. It’s better than The Road but still is a little too episodic and the protagonist is too blank for my taste but I’m still reading. I’ll let everyone know more when I’m finished.
Yesterday. I held the official book launch for my first novel, Evermore: Call of the Nocturne, at Black Squirrel Books in Centretown. It was a blast. We started off with about eight people and spent the first 30 to 40 minutes eating fancy cheeses, drinking tasty beverages and chatting amongst ourselves.
Then, I gave a short speech in which I thanked everyone who had helped me during the book’s long production cycle. I followed this up with a short reading from the book. I choose Chapter Three as it was fairly short and gave everyone a pretty good introduction into the story and the main character, Blue. However, no sooner had I finished did another group of eight people enter the store. If only I had waited another 15-20 minutes. Some people asked me to read another section but I figured that one chapter would be enough. Anymore than that and it would have been too much. At least the latecomers got to eat cake.
Oh yes the cake! I had it specially made by the good folks at the Nutty Greek Bakery on Rochester. It was peanut butter and chocolate. They even made an edible copy of my book cover to adorn the top. Mmmm, delicious! I can still taste it.
Then, we milled about and chatted some more. Lots of great friends bought books and got me to sign them. Nothing else could make an author happier than someone asking him to sign their book. Oh yeah, the cake got demolished.
And then it was over. People went home. I helped the owners clean up. I returned the chairs the next day and that was it. I still haven’t got rid of all the cheese. At least now I get a moment to relax and reflect and a wonderful experience.
I would to thank everyone for coming. You guys are the best. I would like to thank those who bought books. You’re awesome. I would also like to thank the owners, Vaughn and Stephen, of Black Squirrel Books for being such gracious and supportive hosts. I will be back.
It was an experience of a lifetime and I was fortunate to share it with some of my best friends. Until next time.
Yes. We have posters now.
Quick reminder that the book launch for my novel, Evermore: Call of the Nocturne, will be happening in less than two weeks time. On Tuesday, February 12th, please join me at 7 PM to help me celebrate the occasion. There will be snacks, drinks, a reading. Paperback copies of Evermore: Call of the Nocturne are now available for sale. More details below.
Snacks and beverages will be served.
By invitation only so please RSVP by dropping me a comment below!