Monday, January 26, 2015

A Review of "Interstellar: The Official Movie Novelization"

A Review of "Interstellar: The Official Movie Novelization"
Novelization by Greg Keyes
Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan

Being that I own a Kindle, this is the first “physical” book I’ve read in some time. In fact, having grown tired of looking at screens all day, whether it’s a computer screen, television screen or a Kindle screen, I recently bought a bunch of paperback books to reduce my exposure to technology…and I have to say that the experience has been a pleasure thus far. I typically read quicker with my Kindle, but I finished this book in under a week (with only an hour or two set aside each night), so it’s a testament that real paper books still hold their value.

Enough with the comparisons, though. Since I never got a chance to see the movie, I figured the novelization of Interstellar would be the next best thing. The plot focuses on the need for NASA to find life elsewhere as crop blight and dust storms have ravaged the planet, essentially poisoning the air and dwindling food supplies. Through the use of a wormhole, NASA’s “Lazarus Missions” have found three potentially habitable worlds, and a former astronaut named Cooper (played by Matthew McConaughey in the movie) is recruited to pilot the mission. Along with several other scientists, their goal is to obtain data collected by the original astronauts and determine which planet, if any, is most suitable to support human life.

Though the science of space travel, and space in general, is not something I’m very knowledgeable about, I found this aspect of the book to be fascinating. It’s still not something I can fully comprehend, but many things were explained in a way that I could at least gain a basic understanding of them. Gravity, dimensions, relativity, time, wormholes, black holes, and so forth. Significant research was done to make this book/movie as accurate and realistic as possible, and the reader will definitely notice this. Some of the science was absolutely mind-blowing.

The book moves at a quick pace, and I never found myself getting bored at any point during the story. There were also times when I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I told myself I’d read just a little longer, but I literally had to force myself to close the book. Otherwise, I would have been up all night. I would have liked to see a little more of the story take place on Earth but I can’t fault the writers for this. So much goes on in space that it really can’t be avoided. Overall, I loved this book and thought the ending was fitting. Even if you’ve seen the movie, I’ve heard the book compliments it well, offering some details and pieces of information left out on the big screen. As a result, I recommend reading it either way.

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