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.
To be honest, the only reason I’m doing this today is that I couldn’t think of anything else to write about. I should probably note that Arnold is now releasing an autobiography under the title Total Recall. If there’s an adaptation for the remake as well as this novel I’m reviewing, that’s going to get real confusing when trying to request a book at the bookstore.
So we’ve already met a dream girl and Quaid’s real world wife. Or have we? It’s time to finally complete the set-up. I hope.
Chapter 3: Dream
I found myself stopping when we’re told how Quaid and Lori would make sex tapes and run them from the “TV” screen above their heads during non-recorded sex. I DIDN’T NEED TO KNOW THAT! To this point we’re told how Quaid and Lori met and while one sentence appears twice in the span of a few paragraphs it’s mostly just Quaid trying to figure out why he has the perfect wife but still dreams about this other girl so vividly.
And I stopped a second time because we hit that part in the movie that I always found silly. Yes, yes, you know what I mean. First I should note that Anthony seems to be putting as much effort talking about all the gadgets around the house or the future (hovercars, weaponized satellites, how people are used to nine different TVs playing at the same time–and we had to know about the erotica station for dirty old men, right?) as he does how hot Lori is or how Quaid has big muscles. Then comes that silly bit. Quaid is watching a news story about civil unrest on Mars and his first comment to Lori is that he wants to move there. That’s like me wanting to move to Egypt right now, and as of this writing they’re still claiming to riot over some YouTube video. Those of you reading this in the archives years later, it still sounds stupid, even if you know the full story. Back to reading.
After she tries to talk him out of it and finally gets him off to work, there’s a sequence I don’t remember from the movie, just a paragraph or two. Quaid has another…vision, I guess…about Earth being destroyed by a nova, something a scientist on the television had been discussing. I haven’t read this book in years, so I’m wondering if this is something Piers Anthony added to the story or if it’s an early concept dropped by director Paul Verhoeven. I know he wanted to keep it vague if Quaid was dreaming the Mars adventure while stuck at Rekall or if it was actually happening, letting the audience draw a conclusion. I’ll get to that when this review series is done, but I’m wondering if Anthony had other ideas? We’ll find out as the adaptation continues.