Cowboys & Aliens (graphic novel)

Wow.

I … I really don’t know how to say this, guys. I’m really… I’m really sorry.

I know we all really liked the movie version of Cowboys & Aliens, Daniel Craig did a really fantastic job running around in chaps and hurting people a lot. Really, everyone did a rousing performance in that movie. We enjoyed the way they made the aliens look. We like that the shitty kid got hurt a lot. In general, we just really liked the film.

And in really liking something, we tend to want more of it. So we go around looking for things that can prolong our experiences. Things to make us happy. Things that will bring back that joy we felt while watching shit blow up on the big screen.

Which might lead some of us to the graphic novel. And those of us who find it might become very excited. We might order it on Amazon and wait anxiously for it to be delivered. Once we get it, we might sit for a while, just looking at the cover (a new cover, by the way, not the old one, this one is mighty pretty). We might, then, crack it open to the front page, ready to nestle into our favorite reading spot and relive our glee.

Then we might find ourselves very, very disappointed.

It’s kind of like when you see somebody do something really stupid, but they don’t end up hurting themselves. Or watching a car blow through a red light right in front of a cop, but the cop doesn’t do anything about it. It’s that kind of let down. Enormous. Soul crushing (Okay, that might be going a little too far, maybe).

Pretty much the entire thing is different from the flick, and I can really see why they’d choose to change everything right down to the character’s names, because really, other than the concept, the whole thing sucks. From the start, right to that very last page, you’re going to find yourself wondering what the fuck you just read. Then you’re going to wonder why the fuck you just read it. Believe me, you won’t find a good answer for that. All the reasons previously stated, all that wonderment brought about by the movie, and that need for more of it, it’s going to be gone. Right down the tubes.

Luckily, the movie is so completely different from this bound colorful wad of paper that you won’t even be able to bridge your disappointment of the one to the other. It’s like you’ve seen a Muppet movie and decided to read a how-to guide about frogs to further your fun. There really are only very vague similarities, and those you can ignore or wipe from your mind completely. Don’t fret too much over it. It can be forgotten. I’ve nearly already done so, and it’s only been a couple of days.

I suppose I’ll keep the thing around, because the cover is really very pretty, and I spent money on the thing, so I feel bad doing anything else aside from letting it have some shelf space. But I feel like I really need to spare you from the same fate.

Do not buy it. Do not even read it. If a friend has it and offers to loan it to you, they’re likely trying to pawn it off on you, don’t fall for it. Say ‘Thank you, my good friend, for your thoughts of me on this subject matter, but I must respectfully decline on the basis that you are a liar’. And then maybe quickly leave before your friend tries to sneak it into your car or backpack.

It does make me sad that I have to write words like this about something that should have been good. But I cannot bring myself to lie when things are bad. It’s unfair to the rest of the world. I suffer so that you do not have to. Don’t let my suffering be in vain.

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True Grit (Book edition!)

I couldn’t wait any longer. I sped through the book I’d been reading and immediately picked up True Grit. I was a little impatient about it, because I’d meant to read it before I got the new version of the movie from Netflix, but I’d put my mind to rereading a whole series of books before I got to this one. It only took a little over a week, but still too long.

I love it. Absolutely love it.

There are times, and I believe I’ve spoken about it before, where you read a book of a movie you love and the book just ends up being nothing more than trash. Crap. I worry about that sometimes, when I’ve not gotten to or known that the book exists before I see the movie.

Maybe I should stop worrying so much about it, since it hasn’t happened in a long time.

I have to say, I devoured the book as if I were starved for words. I read it so fast, I could hardly believe it. But once I picked it up, I just couldn’t put it down again. I do believe I will try this author again.

There will be further comparisons made later. True Grit – The Trinal!

Mogworld

I can say it – I’m actually pleasantly surprised at how fun and entertaining this book was. I was highly amused the whole time I was reading it. I really enjoyed the book, and hope that he writes more in the future.

It may sound unfair that I should say that, I do, after all, enjoy his reviews of games. I have so enjoyed his game reviews in the past that I’ve been able to overlook if I agree with him or not and just watch them for what they are. And I don’t always agree with what he has to say, of course. Nobody always agrees with somebody unless they’re a complete nutjob.

But just because he does a good job at those doesn’t mean he’s got what it takes to write a book. I don’t think that just because I enjoy writing that these reviews I do are actually viable for money. I do them because I want to talk about the things I interact with, not because I want it to be my job. I think I’d actually hate to review things because I had to.

People who can’t and shouldn’t write are getting a lot more book deals these days. That chick from The Hills got two. Should she be writing? No. Will people buy her shit? Yes. Because they’ve seen her face on TV.

I got a copy of Mogworld at PAX and sort of put it off because I was unsure if I wanted to taint his game reviews with disappointment in his book. I shouldn’t have worried. Because he’s not some twat who got famous doing something else so they gave him a book deal to make cash off of him. He’s really quite talented. I’m very pleased to be wrong in my waiting.

The type of book that Mogworld is is the type that only comes from a writer that really knows their characters. Some writers just push things out for the sake of getting shit done, and some take time to really evolve what they’re writing about.

Not to mention that it was really funny. I literally laughed out loud a couple of times. That’s not an easy task to accomplish. Not that I’m a humorless bitch, but I generally keep quiet while reading. Comes from spending many hours in libraries as a youth, I think.

Sorry to say, anybody who doesn’t have it already is going to have to wait for a second printing. But when that happens, I suggest reading it as soon as you can. Don’t put it off like I did. Because you’re missing out.

Pet Sematary

I have finally become upset over a Stephen King novel. And it’s probably not for any reasons that people normally get upset over them.

I discovered myself increasingly uncomfortable about a third of the way in, when the cat dies and the father decides to bring the cat back. The thing that bothered me? The way he and everybody else treated the cat. The way they ignored it, called it names, stopped referring to it as a he and started calling it it.

It’s not like the cat made the decision to come back to life. It’s not as if it dragged itself up to the super secret special burial ground, dug it’s own hole and plopped in. It’s unfair to treat the cat as some kind of horrible abomination because something was done to it that it had no choice in.

I can see now why in the movie they change the entire emotional makeup of the animal. Making it into some demonic bastard instead of just dumber and ungraceful. Because if they had portrayed the cat the same way as it was in the book, I think a lot of people would have been monumentally unhappy with the treatment it received. It’s one thing to kick a cat and throw things at it when it’s hissing at you and trying to claw you every time you pass by. Quite another when it’s just sitting there being mildly creepy in your general direction.

Now, it’s not like I’m a PETA member, over here. I do love animals, I think they’re awesome. I have my own and they’re spoiled rotten. The Queen’s family isn’t pampered as much as my animals are. But I’ll also eat them, and I’ll also wear them. So don’t get your defenses up and come babbling at me that I only care because it’s a cat.

No, I believe in fair treatment for all our undead brethren. Unless, of course, they decide to mob together and shamble toward me demanding to eat me while I live. Then I’m going to have to take them out. But if they’re just going about their unlives, not hurting anybody, just trying to get along, we shouldn’t treat them poorly. Especially when they’re that way BECAUSE WE DID IT TO THEM.

Bastards.

What did he think, really, what did he think was going to happen when he brought the cat back to life? That it was going to be a normal, living, breathing animal? That it was going to retain all the signs of what it is that makes alive things alive? I say the prick got what he deserved.

Differences

I recently got Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, because I haven’t ever read it. I’ve watched the movie quite a bit. It is, in fact, still one of my favorites. So I thought it was about time to read the book and discover the source of my joy.

The book is really good, don’t get me wrong. It hasn’t changed my opinion of the movie, either, don’t worry. I’m just a little confused on how things became so glaringly different between the two. They’re like two entirely different species of animal. I’d be comfortable in saying that one of them is a bird and the other a mammal of some sort.

I really wasn’t expecting to get an entirely different story. I really really wasn’t. I was excited to see how they got more into depth with certain things, and thought maybe one or two things might be replaced. But the whole freaking story? Damn.

I can’t even tell people to just treat it as two different entities, because it is two different entities and there’s no real way to compare them. I can’t really sit down and make a list of the similarities and differences because… well… it just doesn’t work.

Like I said before, though, I don’t hate either work. I very much enjoyed the book. I love the movie. I’m just a little startled.

Cell – King (and kind of Lisey’s Story)

I just don’t know what to say. I don’t. I’m not quite as angry about this book as I was when I read Lisey’s Story. But I’m still pissed off. This was… it was so bad. It was like King just wanted to, or had to, write something to put out and didn’t have any real solid ideas.

I mean, granted, this book has a lot more going for it than Lisey’s Story did, but really that’s not saying much. Since that book was a COMPLETE WASTE OF MY TIME.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I won’t lie. I did like them. I did like the general idea of the book, as well. The end of the world brought about by cell phones. It’s a pretty solid idea. The problem is, the idea behind the idea wasn’t fleshed out. At all. It almost seemed as if King was avoiding anything to do with the background because he didn’t know himself what was going on. There was so much missing. And so much other stuff thrown in randomly that wasn’t followed up on.

But again, Lisey’s Story was lacking even that much. Lisey’s Story is apparently what happens when King has to take a giant shit and uses a notebook to do it on. It’s not the first book I’ve ever been angry at, but it was the first of his, and I had hoped it would be the last. It wasn’t.

Though, maybe I can use the fact that Cell and Lisey’s Story were written back to back as some sort of an excuse for King. Because I really dislike hating anything he’s written, especially now when I’ve made my way through so many other books and I adore them. It’s not easy to hate something a writer you love has written. It’s quite difficult, actually. You want to love everything. You want everything to be good. It’s just heartbreaking when everything’s not good and you end up loathing a piece. Or two, in my case.

Despite loving the characters in Cell, the main character, Clay, leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. The things he does at the very end don’t fit his personality at all. They don’t fit what he’s evolved into during the course of the book. He just goes off on this wild tangent. Several things are wrong with the ending, several, but mostly it’s what Clay does and what he doesn’t do. And who he decides to leave behind. I’m sorry, but Clay is not that big of a fucking idiot, and I don’t honestly believe in my heart that he would have done what he did. I don’t give a shit if it’s written that way, it’s not him.

The book is pretty bad from the get go, however. Which is something I noticed because despite how hard I tried to keep myself involved, parts of the book itself were pushing me back into reality. Not in any thoughtful way, either. In a very abrupt and unfriendly way. It was really hard to keep reading this book, but I have to always finish. I’ve never started a book that I didn’t finish. I just can’t do it. I have to know the end, even if I hate the rest of what’s gone on, the characters, the story – whatever.

Which is PRECISELY why I sat through reading all of goddamned Lisey’s Story when I hated her, and her stupid thought process and her stupid weak and pathetic unwillingness to live her motherfucking life. Despite the fact that I detested where the story went and how long it took to get there, I read the whole thing. Even though I felt that it was some of the worst writing I’d encountered from such a lauded author, I finished the stupid book.

After I was done reading it, I sold Lisey’s Story to a used book store for significantly under a quarter. I believe that Cell will follow the same path. I, the queen of keeping books for future re-reading, want this book the hell out of my house. I never want to see it’s idiot cover again.

L.A. Confidential

How in the sake of fuck did this book get translated into a movie? No no, don’t get me wrong. I adored the book. I like all of his writing. But what rocket scientist did they find to make this into a movie script? It’s just so … freaking… I don’t even know. It’s so complicated and involved.

However it happened, I’ve got the movie on my Netflix queue. I think I’ll move it to the top to ease my curiosity. Plus, apparently it’s got Kevin Spacey in it, and I adore him.

The back of the book has the best way to describe the style of this book: Noir written in shorthand.

I’ve been trying to explain to people how it reads by using the words “razor blades” “quick” and “jagged”. Nobody quite gets what I’m saying though, so I think I’ll resort to the reviewer’s explanation.

By the way, no matter how smart you think you are, the ending will fuck you up.