movies of books

Catching Fire

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Novel Ideas returns with Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy. Not to mention the second movie, which you may have heard, was released recently. We apologize for missing last week, illness and a new work schedule have been conspiring against us. In this episode, we discuss masculine and feminine character traits, PTSD, overly silent conspiracies, and inaction in the face of evil. We also talk about classic dick moves, Peeta as a potential creeper, whether President Snow is a vampire, and many, many prequel possibilities.

Ben’s holiday work schedule is fairly likely to result in more delays with editing and posting episodes, so the schedule may look a little jagged through the end of the year. Posts are most likely to occur on Mondays rather than Tuesdays for the duration. We’ll try not to miss any more weeks without putting it on the schedule in advance, but bear with us.

The music bump this week is “Fire in the Hole” by Steely Dan.

Catching Fire – Scalene Love Triangle

Recommendations:

A very good read, as long as it isn’t the first book you ever read, with markedly more sophistication than the first book.

Gabs: 8.5/10 with the extra half point awarded for going beyond typical YA fare.

Ben: 9/10 I think I may have liked this one better than the first one, mainly due to the added political elements.

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Ender’s Game

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Novel Ideas returns from a work related pseudo vacation hiatus with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. If you use any form of media that is connected to the outside world, you’ve probably seen some trailers for the recently released movie. This book has actually been our list for a long time, but we’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to discuss it. Join us this week as we discuss, with the help of Special Guest Star Kevin Smith, this old favorite. In the the episode we talk about the Orson Scott Card controversy, spoilerific plot twists, master manipulators, and whether the ends justify the means. We also touch on how six year olds act most of the time, Yakety Sax, Independence Day, and creative ways of using the word “fart.”

The music bump is “Head Games” by Foreigner. I almost went with “Yakety Sax,” but decided that “Head Games” is actually hilarious if you imagine that Ender is singing it to either Colonel Graff or the Hive Queen, depending on the verse.

Ender’s Game – A Gold Plated Fart

Recommendations:

One of the best science fiction novels ever written with special sentimental value to all three of us. Definitely read it before you see the movie, which will undoubtedly not live up to this book.

Gabs: 9/10 Not quite as pants-peeingly good as reading it as a kid, but still very, very good.

Ben/Kevin: 11/10 OMFG

Starship Troopers

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Banned Book Month is over! Novel Ideas returns with the granddaddy of military science fiction, Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. Or possibly Bobby H. In this week’s episode we discuss the politics of authors as represented by their books, the lack of characterization in this book, the strange lack of war in a book about war, and how despite a paucity of women, this book still acknowledges women better than most classic sci fi. We also talk about the fun, if not so good, movie, colorful windbags, people and their similarity to potatoes, puppies, and other “P” words, and how we would react to giant spiders holding guns.

The music bump this week is “The Ballad of Rodger Young” by Frank Loesser, the sweetest sound in the galaxy.

Starship Troopers – The Fault In Our Starship Troopers

Recommendations:

This is definitely a Ben book rather than a Gabs book. Be warned, there are two chapters of actual war in this book about war, most of the rest is conversation.

Gabs: 7/10 for someone looking for science fiction, 4/10 for someone who doesn’t usually read that genre.

Ben: 9/10 for someone like me, which is to say someone with a prior interest in military minutiae and science fiction. Then again, this is one of my favorite books. Maybe closer to 7/10 for a generic sci fi fan.

World War Z

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Welcome back to the zombie apocalypse. Or almost apocalypse. This week on Novel Ideas, we read World War Z by Max Brooks. This book is a little bit different from other books that we’ve read in that it doesn’t really have characters or a plot, but is instead written in the style of an oral history. Because of that, we changed our format slightly for this week’s episode. We talked about the movie, the breakdown of society, the nature of celebrity, and gender balance. We also discussed zombie tropes, the fact that dogs hate zombies, historical zombie fiction, and zombie war psychology. Basically, we discussed everything zombie related we could think of.

The music bump is “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden, used to bait zombies at the Battle of Hope.

Recommendations:

An interesting and compelling book about 80-90% of the time. It drags just a little at the end, but not enough to put a damper on the experience of reading it. The book includes some excellent world building in telling a well covered genre story in a different way.

Ben: 8.5/10

Gabs: 8/10

Holes

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This week on Novel Ideas is Holes by Louis Sachar, an award winning YA novel that has become a modern classic. Many of you read it and loved it as children, plus there is a movie that we’re doing a bad job of pretending does not exist. In this episode we talk about the surreal atmosphere of the story, race issues, the justice system, and whether the plot is powered by fate or coincidence. We also touch on the possibility of Newberry Death Month, whether a rooster is just a rooster, and the various little known powers of onions.

The music bump this week is Fiction Plane’s setting of Louis Sachar’s lullaby from the book, though in a form that is not notably lullaby-ish. Also, this setting would probably play over the end credits of the movie version of Holes, if such a movie existed.

41 – Holes – Sam’s Secret Mountain Onion Garden

Jurassic Park

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This week on Novel Ideas, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. The book, not the movie. Did you know that there is a movie? I was shocked too. Join us as we discuss the depths of the various characters, or lack of depths, why 1989 technology is mildly hilarious in 2012, and which character is actually a dick. I mean, aside from the T-Rex or any number of velociraptors. And we have special treat for you this week with guest stars Casey Hanford and Sayeed Khan, two guys who are as qualified to talk about books and dinosaurs as we are.

Music is the Jurassic Park Theme from John William’s excellent score, but I probably didn’t have to tell you that.

21 – Jurassic Park – OMG DINOSAURS