By Matthew Knox
At a first glance, The Perks of Being a Wallflower may seem to lack substance, but Stephen Chbosky does not disappoint with this coming of age story.
The story chronicles a boy named Charlie who is in his freshman year of high school. Told through a series of letters that Charlie writes to an unknown friend, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” uses immense creativity to get it’s message across. We never find out who this friend is, neither does Charlie. He isn’t writing because he needs advice. Charlie writes because he just wants to know that someone listens. The letters are intensely personal and intimate and provide us with a look into his reality as well as his uniquely unfiltered view of the world. Although, he can say things in a manner that make him seem unconcerned. For example, when he openly speaks about how his best friend killed himself, and how it would provided more closure if he had left some type of a note.
“Was I crazy? Maybe. Or maybe life is… Crazy isn’t being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It’s you or me amplified.” This embodies the tone of Girl, Interrupted. Susanna Kaysen’s autobiographical novel explores for an answer to the question: what is crazy?
In 1967, 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen found herself somehow in the esteemed McLean’s psychiatric hospital, to be treated for depression – following what doctors claim was a suicide attempt. Girl, Interrupted is her account of the two years she spent there. Kaysen’s novel takes the reader through the ups and downs and in betweens of inpatient psychiatric care.
by Sean Begin
After 55 years, Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “The Sirens of Titan” remains not only one of my favorite Vonnegut works, but one of my favorite pieces of fiction–ever.
Combining elements of science fiction with his acerbic wit and deeply rooted beliefs on religion, humanity and society, Vonnegut crafts a darkly satirical piece about the true nature of our existence on Earth.
The novel focuses on several key characters, mainly 22nd-century America’s richest man, Malachi Constant. Malachi is the name of a Jewish prophet in the Hebrew Bible whose name is derived from the Hebrew word mal’akhi meaning “the messenger.”
By Sean Begin
For anyone connected to the world of video games, the concept of a completely immersive virtual gaming simulation has long been the subject of myth and dreams. In his novel “Ready Player One,” Ernest Cline makes that dream a reality in more ways than one.
The novel is centered on the OASIS, a massively multiplayer online game, which uses virtual reality to completely immerse the user in a video game simulation. Set in the dystopian near future of 2044, in which a Great Recession has depleted most of the world’s resources, the OASIS has become, for many people, more important than the real world.
By Sean Begin
The advent of the Internet has vastly changed the way the world runs, for better or worse. The Internet allows large companies to maintain instant communication and effectively run their business. On the flip side, a clever or stubborn hacker can work their way into nearly any system in the world, from the security systems of those companies to phones and gaming consoles.
And with work from groups such as the digital rights non-profit group Electronic Frontier Foundation and, more recently, the high profile actions of members of the online Anonymous collective, Internet freedom and rights has come to the forefront.
“When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there’s either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world. And there’s nothing wrong with my skills.” This opening line in Jonathan Maberry’s bio-terrorist thriller “Patient Zero” sums up the novel quite perfectly.
Patient Zero follows Baltimore detective Joe Ledger as he gets recruited to work for a secret branch of Homeland Security called the Department of Military Science, which is trying to battle against a deadly bio-weapon engineered to turn humans in to zombies. Yes, that’s right, zombies.