Zach Braff reprises his role from “Garden State” in the upcoming sequel to “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “The Perks of Being a Wallpaper.”
I had previously read Generation A by Douglas Coupland after luckily stumbling upon it at the library on its release date a few years ago. I loved it, and was therefore thrilled to find it in hardback in one of my favourite shops in Manchester for only £3. A few days later I found myself standing next to my book case and thought I’d pick it up to smell the fresh pages. After a few moments enjoying the aroma, I accidently flicked through to the title page where I found Douglas Coupland’s signature, not printed, but an actual ink-written autograph. Needless to say, thousands of tiny versions of myself were dancing around my mind in triumphant celebration. I’m not sure how this happened, perhaps the shop received some excess stock from a publisher that forgot about a signing, or perhaps someone got bored and decided to forge some famous author’s autographs as a surprise for the reader. Either way, it’s either brilliant or hilarious. The end.
“Galapagos” by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 5/5
Kurt Vonnegut is often hilarious, and he is often absolutely on point with his observations and propositions. Galapagos is further proof of his incredible humour and keen eye for the truth (and nonsense) of people and life in general. A surreal context surrounds this commentary on the human race, due to it being told from the point of view of a ghost that has been observing us and roaming the earth for a million years. I’m not generally a fan of the concept of ghosts, but the absurd synopsis of this story contains a brilliant fractured narrative, filled with excellently formed (and hugely believable) characters that allow for sometimes beautiful, often cynical, and entirely hilarious perceptions on life as we know it. If you’ve ever considered how pointless the majority of conversation is, how our big brains never cease to find ways to destroy our planet, or how wonderful and poignant the littlest things can be, then this book will snuggle up nicely with your mind. Absolutely fantastic
“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 3.5/5
I was always put off reading this book due to the astounding similarities which the synopsis has to one of my favourite novels, “Battle Royale” by Koushon Takami. Sadly, these similarities are not only found in the synopsis but do tend to resurface throughout the whole book. It’s difficult to believe that Suzanne Collins has not read Battle Royale and taken inspiration from it, yet apparently she had no knowledge of it. Regardless, The Hunger Games does tell a new story, just within a familiar framework. Conceptual similarities aside there is genuinely gripping storytelling to be discovered. Shockingly basic prose and minuscule sentences encapsulate the feelings of the main characters, yet there are more than enough hints at a bigger picture to make me interested to read the next in the series. The Orwellian politics that plays as a subtext to the action is interesting and has great potential; thus far in the series it seems sorely under-utilised, but then again, this is essentially a children’s book and grand ideas aren’t expected to be dissected (no disrespect to children’s books intended, I’m a huge fan). Characters are well presented and have great potential to develop in the sequels. The large typeface of simple language which spans 400+ pages is incredibly easy to read and therefore addictive. Surprisingly, it only took me three days to consume without any binging. The Hunger Games is great fun, easy to read yet with subtle hints at something grand, and for these reasons I recommend it. But while we’re on the subject of a government that makes teenagers fight to the death as punishment for social rebellion, you should definitely read Battle Royale.