Read the Movie: Stephen King

There are few authors as prolific as Stephen King. Having published 54 novels, over 200 short stories and a handful of non-fiction (we particularly recommend On Writing to every serious reader or aspiring author), his literary output is almost evenly matched by the number of feature films and TV mini-series based on his works.

In case you haven’t yet sampled his oeuvre, we’ve curated a brief list of the most unmissable movie adaptations, plus a few great King novels that should’ve stayed on the shelves. As his newest book, The Outsider, just hit shelves this May, let’s hope that even more successful adaptations of his work are on the way. And be sure to catch the film version of the King story “1922” on Netflix, or pick up the book it’s featured in, Full Dark, No Stars, at Half Price Books stores and HPB.com!

 

SUPERIOR STEPHEN KING CINEMA


Carrie

Carrie made Stephen King’s name as a writer, but the (original) film is more than equal to the novel. In the deft hands of director Brian De Palma, the 1976 movie captured the visceral horror of being an outcast teenage girl so adeptly, all the telekinetic stuff feels almost like a creepy afterthought. Complete with a classically lousy mother/daughter relationship and a jump scare ending for the ages, Carrie holds up as a classic over 40 years later. Just avoid the 1999 sequel or 2013 remake.

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Ready Player One & What’s Next for Ernest Cline Fans

Editor’s Note: By now any serious movie buff has already seen the movie adaptation of Ready Player One, which hit theaters in March. At Half Price Books, we love movies too. But since we’re booklovin’ nerds at the core, we would like you encourage you to “READ THE MOVIE” – If you haven’t yet, pick up a copy of the book and discover all the action-packed stuff they couldn’t fit into the 2 hour and 20 minute film. While you’re at it, join the HPB Book Club as we re-read this genre-busting, Easter-egg-filled novel by Ernest Cline.

If you’ve already read the book and watched the flick, then keep reading here! This staff review is just for you! Let’s turn it over to Becky embracing her geekiness as she talks about Ernest Cline, Ready Player One and his more recently-released novel, Armada.

Personal disclaimer: I was an elementary and middle school aged kid during that golden decade we call the ’80s. This was a time when girls and boys played arcade games, watched a lot of cartoons and played with the same toys. We ate sugary cereal, wore Mork from Ork suspenders, feathered our hair and (seriously) were all considered really cool.readyplayer1

Which brings me to Ernest Cline.

I read his first bestseller, Ready Player One, when I heard all the buzz about Armada. It was everything I loved about mid-’80s cinema, games, music and culture, and I decided that if Ernie Cline is writing it, I am on board.

“The grown-up’s Harry Potter… the mystery and fantasy in this novel weaves itself in the most delightful way, and the details that make up Mr. Cline’s world are simply astounding. Ready Player One has it all.” — Huffington Post

Cline’s second novel, Armada, hopes to answer the age-old question, what if your video game obsession is training you to LITERALLY save the world? In the near-future, teenager Zack Lightman, a gaming aficionado who just wants to graduate high school, soon realizes that he and other elite gamers might hold the keys to saving the planet against alien forces.

“Nerd-gasmic… Armada is another science fiction tale with a Comic-Con’s worth of pop-culture shout-outs.” — Rolling Stone

Armada reads like every ’80s video game geek adventure movie, and that’s not entirely a bad thing. It lacks a bit of the “wow” factor after the ingenious. Ready Player One, but it is no less adventuresome. Cline truly is an encyclopedia of video-gaming culture, not to mention his reaches into the depths of ’80s kid’s cinema. Just like with RPO, you can practically see the movie playing while you read. He also strategically places a complete ready-for-mixtape playlist headlined by Queen’s “One Vision.”

The thirty and forty-year old set who hung out at arcades and rushed to theaters to watch any movie with “Star”, “War”,“Games” or “Fighter” in the title will feel whisked back into their local mall movie theater at the over-the-top action, righteous references to all-things-’80s once in again in Cline’s Armada. It’s a great read for teens (with some language warnings for parents) who are really into gaming and retro-culture and they will be screaming for the movie releases in the next couple of years. Expect a lot of fan art and fan fiction to evolve, because that’s what the kids do these days, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some video game spin-offs as well.

earnest-cline

Photo of Ernest Cline, courtesy of Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ. CC BY-SA 2.0

I imagine we’ll be hearing a lot more from Ernie Cline in the future. According to sources, there’s a yet-untitled Ready Player One sequel in the works and the acclaimed Steven Spielberg will direct it too.

Look for copies of Ready Player One and Armada at your favorite Half Price Books with our specially-priced brand new releases and hot bestsellers!

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate. You can follow her on Twitter at @bexican75.

Read the Movie: Your Summer Guide to Movies Based on Books

It’s summer time, and that means summer blockbusters on the big screens. Maybe you aren’t interested in being chased by dinosaurs or being swallowed up by an earthquake, so I would like to suggest some great summer reading to get the jump on other really great movies hitting theaters in the near future.

Paper Towns by John Green 

Paper Towns is a very good coming of age story about a young man, Quentin, who sets out with his friends to find a missing girl, his next door neighbor Margo. Margo leaves clues and leads Quentin leading him and his friends on a wild adventure. Look for Paper Towns in theaters July 24.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Thomas and his fellow Gladers face their biggest challenge yet, searching for clues about the mysterious organization known as WCKD. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s superior forces and uncover the truth about the shocking plans for them all. The next film in the Maze Runner saga starts September 18.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The true story about a group of climbers that get stranded on Mt. Everest due to a storm. Everest, the movie adaptation,  has a top-notch cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright and Josh Brolin. Everest will also be presented in 3D, which should make this a real cliffhanger. In theaters September 18.

Black Mass by Dick Lehr & Gerald O’Neill

Black Mass tell the story of the most infamous violent criminal in U.S. history, Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp is almost unrecognizable portraying Bulger and has a lot of early Oscar buzz that might earn him his fourth Best Actor nomination. Black Mass opens September 18.

That should be enough reading to keep you ahead of the game at the movie theatre!


Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

It’s summer time and that means summer blockbusters on the big screens. Maybe you aren’t interested in being chased by dinosaurs or being swallowed up by an earthquake, so I would like to suggest some great sumer reading to get the jump on some other really great movies hitting theaters in the near future.

 

 

Paper Towns by John Green 

 

Paper Towns is a very good coming of age story as a young man, Quentin, sets out with his friends to find a missing girl, his next door neighbor Margo. Margo leaves clues and leads Quentin leading him and his friends on a wild adventure. Look for Paper Towns in theaters July 24.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4olpTxktM4

 

 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

 

Thomas and his fellow Gladers face their biggest challenge yet, searching for clues about the mysterious organization known as WCKD. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s superior forces and uncover the truth about the shocking plans for them all. The next film in the Maze Runner saga starts September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-44_igsZtgU

 

 

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

 

The true story about a group of climbers that get stranded on Mt. Everest due to a storm. Everest has a top notch cast with Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightly, Robin Wright and Josh Brolin. Everest will also be presented in 3D, which should make this a real cliffhanger. Everest start September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZQVpPiOji0

 

 

Black Mass by Dick Lehr & Gerald O’Neill

 

Black Mass tell the story of the most infamous violent criminal in U.S. History, Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp is almost unrecognizable portraying Bulger, and has a lot of early Oscar buzz that might earn him his 4th Best Actor nomination. Black Mass opens September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE3e3hGF2jc

 

 

That should be enough reading to keep you ahead of the game at the movie theatre.