#mirthmusicmon – “I kicked your monkey then I used your goat.” – #mondayblogs

Does anyone else ever watch the Bad Lip Reading videos on YouTube? I look them up every now and then, when I need something to amuse me. The Twilight one is still my favourite (“Dude… why would you slap a fish?”), but I discovered this one today, and it was also quite funny. It’s a parody of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know”, which I’ll put in the post after the funny video. Just a warning, though, the parody should probably be considered just a little bit NSFW.

I am actually quite a fan of that film clip, gotta say.

Mirth and Music Monday is a blog hop! You can join in on the fun over at this linky! I’m going to head off now because today also heralds the beginning of the new ROW80 round and I need to get my goals post written. Laters!

~ Emily

#mirthmusicmon – #CheckItOut – #mondayblogs

I’m back! The essay is finally handed in, I’ve auditioned for my favourite musical (though I don’t know if I got in yet; with 140 auditionees and a cast of only 40, there’s more chance of not, but I remain hopeful) and had some family stuff to deal with (from afar, since I am five hours away and have to keep up via texts and Facebook), but hopefully this is the start of being back nice and proper.

For MMM today, I have an adorable video that I found. I am a frequent patron of my local public library, and I also work in a library… though it’s a non-lending library, and I also work in the archives section rather than the general collection, but still. This video made me very happy.

😀 😀 😀

You can find more Mirth and Music Monday posts here. Please feel free to join in!

~ Emily

Book Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi

Title: Redshirts
Author:
John Scalzi
Genre: humour/sci-fi
Date Read: 25/02/2015 – 28/02/2015
Rating: ★★

Review:

redshirtscoverI really expected to like this book. Even love it. A book that makes fun of some more of the tropes we love about bad sci-fi? Count me in! Unfortunately, I was left feeling like the book had tried to be clever and missed the mark, and after three years of meaning to get around to reading it, I was disappointed.

Ensign Andy Dahl has just been assigned to the xenobiology lab on the Universal Union’s flagship, The Intrepid. It’s a prestigious posting, but soon Andy and his friends notice that strange things happen to the crew-members on away missions: namely one of them ends up dead, while the Captain and other senior officers never seem to suffer so much as a scratch. As they dig deeper, they learn that the explanation for all this is far more ridiculous than they could ever imagined.

The title of this book is a reference to Star Trek – the unnamed crew member in the red shirt would always die on an away mission, so often that the term “redshirt” is a trope in its own right (warning: TV Tropes link – click at your own risk!). The novel embraces this and plenty of other b-grade sci-fi tropes, and for a while it is quite entertaining. Less than halfway through, however, I started feeling like I was just reading one big in-joke, and while I perhaps expected that a little going in, actually reading it got irritating after a while.

The setting in essentially a thinly-veiled Starship Enterprise. There’s nothing wrong with that and given the subject matter, it’s hardly surprising. The characters, though… I honestly could not tell them apart. There was very little to separate one of the main characters from the other three, and on several occasions, I had no idea which side character was which. There was also a lot of bad science… while that’s kind of the point, I like sci-fi science that doesn’t just leave me confused.

The story itself ends about 100 pages before the end of the book, and what follows are three codas, exploring characters and experiences we had only met or touched on briefly in the main part of the book. It is here that some real depth is added to the prose, but this felt quite jarring after the main story.

As you can see, I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone, but I will say this: it is possible that many of these things I didn’t enjoy in the book (the bad science, the bland characters…) were deliberate choices on the part of Scalzi. Given that [Important Plot Things redacted], it would actually make sense for these things to be that way. But nonetheless, it didn’t click with me, and I was left feeling a little bit like I had wasted my time.

This is my first John Scalzi read, and while I was disappointed, I don’t intend to write him off just yet. I have a couple of his other books on hold at the library, and they sound quite different to this one. Maybe they will be more my cup of tea.

Book Review: Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf

Title: Who Censored Roger Rabbit?
Author: Gary K. Wolf
Genre: Noir/parody
Date Read: 01/01/15 – 05/01/2015
Rating: ★★★☆

Review:

rogerrabbitcoverYes, this is the book you never knew Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was based on. I didn’t either, until I asked my boyfriend what my first book of the year was going to be and he pulled this off the shelf (since he moved into the house I was already living in, we have separate bookshelves). I haven’t actually seen the entire movie (I’ve seen bits and pieces), but according to aforementioned boyfriend, apart from some main characters and the co-existence of humans and cartoon (‘toon) characters, there are very few similarities.

The book begins when PI Eddie Valiant is hired by ‘toon Roger Rabbit to investigate why his current bosses won’t let him out of his contract, as well as whether or not there is any truth to the rumour that another comics syndicate had tried to buy him out. The case soon escalates and Eddie has two murders to solve, while Roger begs him to let him help with the detective work, Jessica Rabbit bats her eyelashes at him and other nefarious types, both human and ‘toon, warn him to back off.

This was a fun read, though sometimes it felt like too much was going on and I lost track of the details (I’ve said before I’m not good at remembering important titbits).  While Eddie Valiant isn’t the most likeable of protagonists, he does at least do his job well. Roger Rabbit is mostly endearing, though sometimes he goes a bit over the top. The book’s female characters weren’t especially brilliant. They had no particular personalities to speak of, and were only ever described in terms of how well they pulled off whichever outfit they were wearing. Being familiar with Disney’s version of Jessica Rabbit, though, this wasn’t exactly surprising.

The resolution of one murder didn’t feel quite in keeping with the rest of the book (without giving too much away, it sort of introduced a new genre that hadn’t really been present up until then) but the second one was resolved in such a way that actually took me by surprise, but in a good way. It made perfect sense, but wasn’t what I was expecting.

There are two more books that follow this one, but from the sounds of it, they were cashing in on the success of the movie, and don’t do much justice to the first novel. While they sound a little interesting, I think I might quit while I’m ahead.