I feel a sense of accomplishment lately when I finish a book and especially when I finish a video game (see yesterday's post).
I've always been a slow reader. Sometimes words popping in and out that aren't really there. There are times when I have to stop, go back and read a whole page or paragraph again cause I just had no idea what was going on. The past year or two I've been reading a lot more lately and I'm enjoying it. When I finish a book, I get happy because it feels like a big feat to me (especially when it's a 1,000+ page book) and I also get to start a new journey!
Yesterday I finished Dan Simmons' Drood. The Washington Post review of this book is SPOT on; this book is pretty much the literary version of the movie Amadeus. The book's narrator, Wilkie Collins, is the Salieri to Charles Dickens' Mozart; always feeling just one step behind Dickens, in his shadow.
While I found this book in the horror section, I don't feel that it was the correct genre for it. It definitely had some tense moments and graphic scenes, but this had more of a historical fiction feel a la Caleb Carr's The Alienist. Unfortunately, this book seems to lean heavily on the history and facts of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Many times, Simmons will go off on tangents about past books that Collins has written, or the history of the different places Dickens has lived; so much that it feels as if it's a book report on Dickens.
If you look past this though, the story is interesting. You begin to wonder about Drood. Is he real? You start to notice things as the book goes on like, who really see's Drood? I don't want to give away a lot, but if you can get past the book report like facts that are given to you, you'll enjoy the book.
In the same day as I finished Drood, only a few hours later I finished Gears of War 2! As an adult gamer, you come to the realization that you won't finish most of the games that you own, so finishing a game will be a big rarity for you. In the past year, I've finished 2 games (Batman: Arkham Asylum and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) and the only reason I've finished those was because I made it a point to finish them (although, Batman was just too much fun to put down).
Normally I try to play 2 main games at a time. One game being a really long game (for example, right now i'm playing Oblivion) and the other being a mindless game such as a button masher like the Spiderman games. This past weekend I figured I might as well finish Gears 2. Of course, I don't remember much of the story, but I pop it in and I'm in the middle of some huge firefight. Played for about an hour till I got to a frustrating part and put it down till last night. Started up my 360, got past the frustrating part....30 minutes later the game ends surprisingly. The final boss didn't even make me frustrated at all. It just...ended! Weren't end boss battles supposed to be tough? Wasn't too impressed but glad that I was able to finish the game.
Needless to say, I got the bunch of gamerpoints, watched the credits, saw the teaser to Gears of War 3 and then popped in Oblivion.