Books I finished
- Hard Cider
- Beanie Weanies (a treat from my 80’s childhood)
Two of my books this week are straight out of my 1980s childhood: Armada and The Neverending Story.
Armada isn’t something written in the 1980s, but written by someone alive in the 1980s who has a strong idea of 80s era pop culture. Armada didn’t even exist on my radar until Book Expo. Mostly because I don’t pay attention. I only read Ready Player One in the past… OK, 2 years ago. It is one of those books that everyone said I should read and I was all “ehhhhh maybe?” and then someone smart told me Wil Wheaton reads the audiobook. Both Ready Player One and Wil Wheaton fit into my 80s childhood too.
Ok, so Wil Wheaton is probably my 3rd childhood crush. He came after Luke Skywalker and Sean Astin… also, possibly after Peter Brady, but only Anita and Frank know that. ANYWAY, Wil Wheaton was the reason I watched TNG (and then stopped when he left). I have never stopped adoring him even as I gave him up in favor of New Kids of the Block. When he started blogging, I started following. When he started writing books, I read them. And so on.
That this man was reading any book was reason enough to listen. I am glad I did because Ready Player One was the right mix of dystopian future, pop culture references, and fun. I will read it again someday. So, the chance to get a copy of Armada and knowing Wil was reading it’s audiobook meant I was in for the next ride.
Reviews are going to mention Ender’s Game. Smart reviews will mention The Last Starfighter, Flight of the Navigator, and The Explorers. This is not new and Cline is perfectly aware of it. He pays homage to all of these and more. That being said, if aliens are not your thing then this book may not be for you.
The Neverending Story was never something I thought of as an adaptation until I saw it on Overdrive. The movie was a major part of my childhood, but only the movies. I did read some reviews because I was worried this was just a novelization (which I typically don’t enjoy). Turns out I was completely wrong, the book did come first.
My problem was that the first movie is only half the book. There is a whole half a book left. German author Michael Ende tried to get them to change the name of the movie because they changed and took out so much of the movie (according to Wikipedia). By the way, the original book is in German and is probably even better in original form.
The first half is fantastic and the adaptation to the movie was amazingly well done. The second half, the new content, was a boring as all fuck. It felt like the innocences of the OZ stories mixed with nothing exciting happening. It got all wrapped up in the interesting creatures and mythology of Fantasica.
Here is what I would like: a Neverending Story reboot with Barret Oliver back as Bastian, but as an adult. He owns the bookstore now and a new kid does the rebooted story. This time approach it as 2 movies instead of recasting Bastian each movie.
Also, I want to watch D.A.R.Y.L.… I added it to my Netflix queue.
Seriously, look that one up. Also Barret Oliver as Dickon in my very favorite version on The Secret Garden. This is the version with COLLIN FIRTH as adult Collin Craven. So… yeah… my 80s childhood…