Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were 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.
So far the voyage inside the human body has had more problems than I my own body. Damage, unexpected medical stuff, an unnecessary aura of a romance, people not getting along when they did in the movie…wait, I’ve gone beyond the mission haven’t I? Don’t get me wrong, there have been some improvements over the movie, but on the other hand there were things the movie has done better.
Thus far I haven’t been grossed out, considering my weak stomach, but we’re reaching the point in the movie where I had to pull back to keep from oral excavation…and that’s the least gross way I can think of so apologies to anyone eating at this time. The crew have been inconvenienced but with an emergency plan to keep from suffocating within a man’s bloodstream things are about to get dangerous. And there’s no Darkwing Duck, so they’ll have to get dangerous on their own.
Chapter 12: Lung
This was one of the few big action scenes in the movie. It’s possible this problem was set up just to have some kind of action scene, but you could only do so many. The best they had was the attack on Benes that started the book and the scene in the artery with the “whirlpool” caused by the damage. Now we have Grant fighting for his life against Benes inhaling and exhaling as they worked to get some of the oxygen to fill the Proteus’ tanks. There’s also some technobabble and medical talk that I ended up skimming because I couldn’t follow it. Remember this is the part of the movie that the legendary science fiction author didn’t like about the movie so naturally this is where he’s going to build on. It does benefit the scene and cuts out before it could ever drag the chapter down. It worked better than the horse talk in The Black Stallion’s Ghost because at least this is trying to explain stuff. I had to have someone in the comments explain things like the big issue with the Black mating before racing season; then it made sense.
The character moments work in this story but their brief and only serve to make them characters. Michaels is growing ever concerned about whether they can continue. Duval is still excited by everything while Peterson is trying to learn more and Grant is just trying to get on with the mission. Even Owens gets all giddy over how the sub’s miniaturizer is working to shrink the air molecules.
There’s an addition where we see dust particles in Benes’ lungs, which Michaels chalks up to city living. These dust boulders help with the solution as Grant tries to get back to the sub and out of the lungs but I think it was there as a bit of commentary. Asimov has been adding that in subtle ways (like putting the medical and military wings of the CMDF at odd despite the generals getting along in the movie) but it never detracts from the overall story, which is a good thing given certain writers at this time, especially TV and comics.
This was a really good chapter. While the beginning has been slower than the movie things have been picking up, and now we’re in the action-heavy act of the movie. Whether it’s due to how much space Asimov has left in the book or this being the “action” act I can’t say. I’m just hoping the pace continues and doesn’t get too fast or slow down too much. We do still have the damaged clot-cutting laser to deal with.
Next Time: Pleura