Make Room! Make Room!
Author: Harry Harrison
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
The world is crowded. Far too crowded. Its starving billions live on lentils, soya beans, and ―if they’re lucky―the odd starving rat.
In a New York City groaning under the burden of 35 million inhabitants, detective Andy Rusch is engaged in a desperate and lonely hunt for a killer everyone has forgotten. For even in a world such as this, a policeman can find himself utterly alone….
Acclaimed on its original publication in 1966, Make Room! Make Room! was adapted into the movie Soylent Green in 1973, starring Charlton Heston along with Edward G. Robinson in his last role.
Ok, I think I’ve come to a conclusion: Old book to film adaptations are so ridiculously different from modern ones. This is the second one that I’ve read where the film is actually miles better than the original book! I’m weirded out! I showed Ivan Soylent Green last year and I was reminded how brilliant it was. I mean, Charlton Heston, but even aside from him! That movie is terrifying and so well done! I noticed that it said it was based on a novel, so naturally, I looked it up. I finally bought it and read it … and it wasn’t that great at all!
I don’t want to spoil Soylent Green cuz everybody should watch it, but very little of the story from the book was put into the movie. And the story in the movie is so much better! Some of the concepts were the same; overcrowding, lack of resources, extreme classism, etc. and the setting was well done. I liked Andy Rusch, but mainly because I was picturing Heston the whole time. Overall, I’m glad I read it, but I’d quickly recommend the movie to anyone else!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Published: October 12, 1979
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker’s Guide “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have” and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: Zaphod Beeblebrox – the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out to lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ball-point pens he has bought over the years.
Easily one of the greatest books ever written. I’ll admit that not everyone will like this book. The plotline is thin and definitely more character driven. But even then, the writing is dry and technical and random. Being a sci-fi fan is the absolute minimum of being able to appreciate this book. The characters are random and hilarious and, in many cases, confusing and shallow. Arthur Dent is the one that I identified with. The lone human in this amalgam aliens, creatures, planets, probabilities, drink recipes, space ships, robots, and sea creatures; he’s the grounding influence.
It’s so hard to describe this book to those who haven’t read it; it’s hard enough to describe to those who have! I think the most accurate comparison I can make (super random, I know, but stay with me) is to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Definitely one of the greatest films ever made, but don’t ask me to explain why, because I can’t. I put Hitchhiker’s Guide ahead of Rocky Horror because I actually got it while I was reading it. Rocky Horror Picture Show is more of a hindsight enjoyment. Even though not everyone will enjoy it, I still encourage everyone to read it! Those who will love it, will love it with all their hearts and be so thankful that someone suggested they read it. Hitchhiker’s Guide is one of my new all time favorite books!
The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
First Published: 1911
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity.
This book is a classic! Not the stuffy, hard to read type either. I remember the first time I read this book; it blew my teenage mind! Someone from my mom’s family gave me my first copy and I think I decided to read it when I didn’t have anything else to read. I was surprised by how much I liked it! Just recently, I realized how long it had been since I’ve read it, so I decided to read it again. It’s still a great story filled with wonderful characters and an amazing setting! Misselthwaite Manor is everything our gothic fantasy could desire! All the way down to mysterious cries throughout the halls and a mysterious recluse that stays hidden. I also love watching Mary grow into the little girl she was supposed to be from the beginning.
It’s not a parenting book but I think modern day parents could learn a lot from it. Overall, this is a book that everyone should read! I think kids would love it and I know it catapulted me into a deeper love of reading!