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.
In our last reading session, everybody got their butts to Mars, with Quaid using a high-tech fat suit and no, I don’t know who spent time coming up with that. The things spy labs come up with when their bored.
Chapter 10: Spaceport
The first segment of the chapter is Doug watching his shuttle land, which would be a boring description or at least (as here) a way to set up thing that aren’t going to matter, like how one of Mars’ moons makes a good rendezvous point. But what Piers Anthony does here is use it to foreshadow certain events, like the volcano and an area of ice, which are still locked in his memories by whatever the Agency did to him. It’s a nice addition but you’ll only notice it in a reread or if you’ve seen the movie.
Then we get to the spaceport and one of the more famous scenes of the movie, partly because it was in most if not all of the trailers. In line, Quaid’s mask malfunctions, alerting the bad guys to his identity. Anthony does a good job of describing the fight but there is something, minor as it may be, that always gets me, and it happened in the comic adaptation as well. The mask’s line in both adaptations is “get ready for a big surprise”, but “big” isn’t in the line of the movie. I wonder if “big” was in the original script but for whatever reason when they shot the moment with the actress playing Quaid’s disguise they decided that word was unnecessary or if she just kept getting tongue-tied around that word. I know when I’ve done videos I’ve changed a line that looked fine when I wrote it but was surprisingly hard to say.
The chapter ends with Quaid’s daring/lucky escape which will lead into our next installment. Quaid’s investigation begins and Cohaagen makes his official debut in the story.
Next Time: Venusville
- Chapter By Chapter: Total Recall adaptation Chs. 12 &13
- Chapter By Chapter: Total Recall adaptation Ch. 14