[Book Review] “Dead City” by Joe McKinney

Dead City by Joe McKinneyDead City opens with odd reports of survivors attacking rescue workers after five powerful hurricanes have pounded the Gulf of Mexico and left the surrounding cities absolutely devastated. Just out of reach of harm’s way, San Antonio, Texas has become a popular safe zone for emergency shelters and evacuees from the destroyed cities. This is where our story begins. Following local police officer Eddie Hudson, Dead City wastes very little time establishing anything aside from a very basic setting and quick introduction of the main character (just enough to let you know that he’s a cop with a wife and new baby son), and instead throws readers into the opening scenes of the zombie apocalypse right away.

Early on in the book I was very unsure of how much I would enjoy it because of how quickly the author puts everything into motion. I don’t mean that it happens too early in the book, but he chose for the first event to pop up suddenly, but had the destruction spread too quickly to be considered logical.

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[Book Review] “Behind The Bell” by Dustin Diamond

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved Saved By The Bell. Sure there are detractors who will say the show is “lame” and “predictable” and “an inaccurate depiction of high school” and “in one episode, the Bayside gang makes a documentary in which they were inexplicably able to film dream sequences.” And while all that’s true, I never felt ashamed for liking it.

Well, that all changed recently, as my fandom overpowered my better judgment, causing me to spend money on Behind The Bell the behind-the-scenes tell all by Dustin Diamond, known to SBTB fans as Samuel “Screech” Powers. Not only is this the worst book I have ever read, it’s the only published work of any kind that has ever caused me to feel intense envy for the illiterate.

Basically all you need to know about this book is that the actor who played Screech hated his cast mates as well as many other aspects of the Hollywood life and decided to exact his revenge by writing this torturous excuse of a memoir.

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[Book Review] Half Empty by David Rakoff


For years, I have had to endure countless people telling me how much better my consistently unfulfilling life would be if I were to simply adapt a more positive outlook. Having never believed this statement to be factual, naturally I was intrigued when I heard of a book which took comedic aim at debunking the notion that optimism is directly related to happiness.

And while Half Empty, the new book by acclaimed humorist David Rakoff wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be, it was an intriguing and consistently entertaining book about the author’s misanthropic life. Continue reading

[Book Review] “Resident Evil: Caliban Cove” by S.D. Perry

Over nine long months ago I published our most recent book review for one Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy, and immediately after I started reading Caliban Cove, which is the second book in the series and the first ever all original novel based on the outstanding series of video games. No, that’s not a typo. I’ve been reading this book for nine months. Many of you may know that nine months is also the amount of time a woman holds a fetus in her womb.

That’s also a long time to read a single book; especially a 200-page book written by a science fiction author who specializes in adapting popular franchises into novel form. It really shouldn’t have taken me so long, especially considering I read the final 100 pages earlier today. There are really two main reasons it took so long. Number 1: I took it to work and left it in my locker, only sporadically reading it on breaks. Number 2: It was pretty boring.

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[Book/Website Review] theroomnovelization.blogspot.com


As I’ve stated in the past, I am an avid fan of the trashy and ultra-incompetent 2003 movie The Room. Like many people (all of whom unfortunately have no connection to this site whatsoever), I find each viewing of this masterpiece to be a gift from God himself, and as awful as it is, it’s thoroughly entertaining in a way that it trumps most every media creation over the past decade.

Well, hoping to bring the movie’s enigmatic appeal to the literary crowd, a Canadian blogger named Marcus Sullivan has taken this gripping tale of love, betrayal and emotional apart tearing of and crafted The Room Novelization, which, as it sounds, is a novelized version of the film. And while this “book” won’t offer much in terms of entertainment to people unfamiliar with the film, for those of us who are, it’s a mostly delightful companion piece.

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[Movie Review] Brief Interviews With Hideous Men


Having already achieved stardom with his role as Jim Halpert on NBC’s The Office, the naturally charming John Krasinski could likely coast through his movie career doing light, fluffy romantic comedies. Knowing that, he certainly does deserve credit for taking a huge leap of ambition with his feature directorial debut Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, which he adapted from a scattershot collection of stories of the same name by the late David Foster Wallace.

But ambition alone doesn’t make for a good movie. Having recently read Wallace’s book, I thought frequently that the material simply could not be adapted effectively. That thought still lingers after watching the film. Continue reading

[Book Review] “Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy” by S.D. Perry

The Umbrella Conspiracy was the first entry in a series of novels based on the popular Resident Evil video games that eventual reached a length of seven books. The original Resident Evil game for the PlayStation, the title this book is based on, is one of the greatest and most influential video games of all time, so it’s obvious that gamers (such as myself) have pretty high expectations for a novelization of the game.

Of course, life is full of disappointments.

About a week after I read Zero Hour (review), the series prequel which I rather enjoyed, I decided to pursue the series and read more of S.D. Perry’s RE novelizations. When I picked up The Umbrella Conspiracy, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what kind of quality to expect based on my experience with Zero Hour: a mostly faithful, largely nostalgic novelization of one of my favorite games that manages to hold my attention and entertain me throughout the experience.

While almost exactly what I wanted, The Umbrella Conspiracy still manages to disappoint on multiple levels.

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[Book Review] “War Dances” by Sherman Alexie


I don’t read as often as I’d like to. To be honest I’m one of those obnoxious a-holes who spends approximately 3 weeks out of the year reading, and the other 49 bragging about how smart I am for finishing a book or two.

That being said, even if I read a book a day, I cannot imagine I would discover a writer whose work I would find more engaging than Sherman Alexie’s. His emotion rich stories of the modern-day lives of Native Americans have always made it to the top of my admittedly small “must read” list, and he’s in top form with War Dances, his latest short-story collection. Continue reading

[’09 Holiday Buyer’s Guide] Books

So as you well know, Christmas is just around the bend. Before your turkey and mash potato filled stomachs sag with the thought of dishing out money for people on your list, consider something more practical than socks, or underpants, consider getting them a book!

Not surprisingly, there have been a good number of new books out in the past year; a lot of them centering around popular video games in what seems to be an attempt to open gamers to the wonderful world of reading things that aren’t on our TV screens.  Here are a couple that may strike your loved one’s fancy, and as an added plus, keep you from going broke. Continue reading

[Book Review] “World War Z” by Max Brooks

worldwarz-bookZombies are pretty sweet right? For decade after decade zombie films have held the attention of people everywhere, especially in the good ol’ U S of A. It’s safe to say that Americans have a pretty hardcore obsession with the idea of a zombie apocalypse, and there’s no shortage of killer zombie films or games out there. But what about the 1% of Americans that still read books for entertainment? Are there any awesome zombie books? You’d better believe it.

I love zombie movies. They’re gory, brutal, and on occasion very disturbing. Before I had read “World War Z” I had a really hard time believing that the genre could make the leap from the big screen to printed paper. I seriously could not have been more mislead.

Max Brooks has set up “World War Z” as an expansion on his first zombie book “The Zombie Survival Guide.” The basic idea is that a disease known as “Solanum” has begun reanimating human beings as flesh starved zombies. Sounds pretty familiar, am I right? The familiar concept quickly spirals into an utterly perfect story following the human struggle to outmatch the “zombies.” Continue reading