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.

Chapter by Chapter - Total Recall logo

Betrayed by a cab driver. The last hopes for Mars’ liberation dead or captured. Suffice it to say it’s a bad day. And it’s not over yet.

Chapter 23: Worse

Hey, we’ve reached that moment. The one where Cohaagen reveals his evil scheme! Can Piers Anthony make sense of this convoluted scheme?

Okay, so Cohaagen’s plan worked like this:

  1. Supress Hauser’s personality under Quaid.
  2. Stuff Quaid on Earth with the wife of his biggest rival.
  3. At some point “activate” Quaid and send him to Mars.
  4. Have him meet up with Melina and regain her trust.
  5. Have Melina lead him to Quato
  6. Profit. (You knew that one was coming.)

The part I’m trying to figure out is…actually there are a few, but one at a time…is how Quaid was supposed to be “activated”. We already knew he was dreaming of Mars and Melina. Lori even knew about it and was probably feeding daily reports to Richter and thus Cohaagen. Seemed pretty ready to me. And how was the “activation” supposed to work had Quaid not gone to Rekall?

I still say Harry was the biggest screw-up here. Threatening to kill Doug outright instead of like, just getting close enough and shooting him. See, Richter wasn’t aware of Cohaagen’s plan. Why not? It’s been established, at least in the novel, that Hauser and Richter don’t get along and this can’t be the first time Richter’s been a hothead. Now you’ve got Hauser/Quaid have near-constant sex with his wife (or so the narration made it sound) and you don’t tell him the full plan? You really think Richter is going to go along with this?

And what about Stevens? Was he kept in the dark by Hauser about the satchel? He seemed to think Hauser was on the run, and I still don’t know how he found him.

I do like that Anthony, through Quaid, tried to piece together why Hauser went along with the plan. He had to hide the secret of the No’ui machine knowing that Cohaagen was the wrong man to hold it. I’m trying to figure out when Hauser changed sides. Was it when, as Quaid believes, he realized he was in love with Melina? Was it when he found the oxygen generator? Still, Hauser faking the plan makes more sense than Hauser still being evil, because without the additions here I’m not sure how Cohaagen’s plan even worked without a lot of coincidences. So thanks for clearing that up, adaptation.

(Sidebar: Is the No’ui implant still talking to Quaid?)

In the movie Cohaagen’s twist was revealed as Quaid and Melina were being forced into the mind-wiping chair. In the book they were in his office. Next time, they get pulled to the brain smasher.

Next time: Break




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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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