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.
Last time Quaid was saved from his fake wife by his real self’s girlfriend. Now they’re on the run (except the fake wife, who’s busy being dead) from the fake wife’s real husband with the cabbie in tow. Quaid leads a weird life, doesn’t he? And it only gets weirder from here, kids.
Chapter 20: Kuato
Our heroes and the cabbie escape through tunnels under the brothel, and I do love how the workers and patrons beat the crap out of Richter’s men, including Helm. Then Cohaagen seals the area shut and sucks out the air with Quaid’s return as the ransom. As George notes later, whatever Quaid knows must be important to warrant this dirty a move. Remember that for a later chapter. We also get the scene where Benny shows his fake arm for the trailer. Quaid assures Melina that Hauser’s love for her was strong enough to peek out through his dreams before being taken to meet Quato…who lives as part of George’s belly. You know, I still don’t know how that works. Was Quato George’s Siamese twin? For all the build-up we get, with signs all over proclaiming him the savor of Mars and Cohaagen’s getting worked up over him…Quato’s kind of underwhelming isn’t he? And somehow I’m okay with that.
Anthony decides to give us a bit more about Melina’s history by talking about the remains of the first settlers in the passages they’re traveling through. Her mother used to tell her stories about those settlers to calm her fears, but it’s never explains what Melina’s mom was doing down here much less taking her little girl down here as well. Then we get a bit where Quaid realizes he shares the same first name with Hauser, Douglas, something the readers were already keyed into chapters ago. While Melina’s thoughts fleshed out her character slightly, Doug’s revelation feels unnecessary, like filling a plothole nobody had cared about.
Whether you’ve been following along with the book or not and were just interested in the book version of the movie, you’re not going to want to miss the next installment of Chapter By Chapter, as it includes something not in the movie, the origin of the turbinium, the MacGuffin of the movie……and the aliens who created it!
Next Time: Revelation