Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were a reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.

Remember when I said the next Chapter By Chapter book was going to be “fantastic”? Well, that’s because I was planning to do Fantastic Voyage…until I found out that it was an adaptation of the movie rather than the other way around. That must be something to get Issac Asimov of all writers to adapt your movie. Unfortunately I have yet to actually see the movie, although I grew up with the cartoon and have the video game on my Atari 800. So until I see the source material, I’m not ready to check out the adaptation.

So what to do? I have so many books and easy access to a library. While trying to decide I saw a tweet by Luke Foster, cartoonist behind Moon Freight 3, mentioning the new Total Recall remake. (I saw the TV spot this week as well, and the first I’ve heard of it was at a ConnectiCon panel on sci-fi remakes.) I don’t really have an opinion yet, but I did see the original, I own the comic adaptation, and I also have the video game. To my knowledge there is no cartoon, but there was an alleged spin-off on Showtime I think.

And it so happens I own the adaptation by acclaimed writer Piers Anthony. So I decided it was perfect for my next Chapter By Chapter. It’s not an anthology and it has decent length chapters, so finally this article series title works! So let’s read the back and check the prologue to begin this review.

Total Recall

by Piers Anthony

based on a screenplay by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Gary Goldman

Screen Story by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Jon Povill

Unlike Fantastic Voyage and the other two books I’ve reviewed, I’ve actually read this book before. So there are some things I’m looking forward to talk about. For now, let us read discuss the cover. It’s the movie poster. That was easy. Movie adaptations tend to favor the movie poster, which actually isn’t a bad thing. At least you know what it is. Then again, it’s just a close up of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face, so who really cares?

How would you know if someone stole your mind?[With my mind, unlikely. Who’d want it?]

Rekall [because poor literacy is kewl]–the multimillion dollar manufacturer of synthetic memories. In the latter part of the 21st century, their trained mind-implanters can make the impossible possible [making the US tax code understandable], adding spice to their client’s mundane existences. [I thought that was only legal in one small Nevada town?] But construction worker Douglas Quaid’s vividly imagined Martian fantasy masks a deadly secret: his true identity. [He’s Batman!] And he’s being hunted by a killer from an invented past that has suddenly become frighteningly, inexplicably real…[Wasn’t that the “Missing Number” plot from Atop The Fourth Wall?]

OK, I kid but it is a good movie, based on Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. Someday I wouldn’t mind reading that but for now this is an example of a good book blurb (my snark aside). It does make the story sound interesting. They needed room for the movie info or they could have said more, but since people have been seeing trailers and commercials for the movie they probably didn’t need it. There’s no actual prologue, just a passage from the book about Quaid being prepared for his journey to Mars at Rekall, while we know this is just before things go horribly, horribly wrong.

So once I get some time after all the cons and panel editing I’ll be ready to dive into this book. Fantastic Voyage? We’ll get to that soon enough.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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