To avoid fainting, keep repeating It's only a move ..only a movie ..only a movie ..only a movie If you grew up believing that Planet of the Apes told you all you needed to know about politics, that Slade in Flame was a savage exposé of the pop world, and that The Exorcist revealed the meaning of life, then you probably spent far too many of your formative years at the cinema. Just as likely, you soon would have realised that there was only one career open to you - you'd have to become a film critic.
I noticed this because of the cover, but the audio sample hooked me. I loved this book. Mark Kermode, who also does a BBC show that you can find in podcast about movies, writes and narrates this. I had no idea who he was before this, but after listening, I'm a big admirer.
He talks a lot about a variety of movies: The Exorcist, Mama Mia, Blue Velvet, The Queen, Breaking the Waves, Silent Running, Hellraiser, Local Hero, Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, The Evil Dead, and others with funny observations and personal notes.
The funniest parts are his first time on the radio, his ill-fated trip to newly capitalized Russia and his trip to the US to interview his favorite celebrities.
If you appreciate movies, especially cult or horror movies, you'll like this book.
Because of this book, I now subscribe to the Kermode and Mayo podcast, which updates every Friday with interviews and usually funny movie reviews.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Meet Cole: hapless space rogue, part-time smuggler, on a path to being full-time dead. His sidekick just stole his girlfriend. The galaxy's most hideous and feared bounty hunter wants to lay eggs in his brain. And the luxury space yacht Cole just hijacked turns out of be filled with interstellar do-gooders, one especially loathsome stowaway, and a cargo of freeze-dried orphans.
The comparisons are inevitable to Douglas Adams, but let's face it, I can compare almost every fantasy series to J.R.R. Tolkien so it's a moot point to me. Just enjoy the ride.
This is definitely a book you're going to want to listen closely. The production is top notch with multi-voiced in-book jingles for space adverts, modulated voices for intercoms and radios and various vocal tweaks to really give you the sense of a world were every planet is named for a sponsor and the world is filled with non-stop marketing.
The jokes are never so over the top that it feels like the author is trying too hard although they come often.
If you like shows or movies like Spaced, The IT Crowd, Galaxy Quest, Monty Python and the Holy Grail or the Daily Show, you'll most likely love this one.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.
I was meh with Duma Key and Cell started great, but completely lost me. This one grabbed me and didn't let go. It was definitely hard to stop playing this one so I could sleep. I had to find out what happened.
I'll admit that the narrator was pretty terrible at some of the women and kid voices, but I thought his Big Jim was spot on, even if it sounded southern a bit.
I am wondering if people on the right are going to be a little ticked at this book. Big Jim, the 2nd Selectman is clearly based on Dick Cheney. Andy, the 1st Selectman, is GWB with Jim calling all the shots behind Andy's leadership. There are nods to the handling of Katrina, the propaganda to get us into the Iraq war, Fox News' truthiness reporting and various aspects of the Bush administration. One character even wears a Dick Cheney disguise.
Awesome book. Loved every minute of it. Even the ending.
13 of 18 people found this review helpful
"Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67, on arrival Midwestern American airport....Code name: Operation Havoc." Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the U.S. disguised as exchange students to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified attack of massive terrorism
While Chuck's books usually have the flaw that they start out strong and end kind of weak, and I was fully expecting that, it was a very solid work. The main character speaks a pigeon English, which may turn off some, but it's easy to get used to.
Yes, this book is filled with some horrifying scenes, like a rape scene, but even that has a purpose based on Pygmy's past training in flashbacks. If you can stomach that early scene, then you'll appreciate Pygmy's take on spelling bees, school dances, school science projects, church, Thanksgiving and various other American rituals.
There's even Pygmy's take on the model United Nations, in which he's the U.S. delegate, who apologizes for our past crimes and demands all current and past leaders be executed.
Laugh-out funny in parts. Very enjoyable if dark humor is your thing.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful