So, this book, eh? What can I say? Kubrick’s Game started slow, but then by the end I was invested enough that I really wanted to see how it played out. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have picked it up if it were not for this site offering it up. Trying to star rate it it has been hard, as I picked it up and put it down, but then picked it up again. I’d say I give it a solid 3.5. There were things I liked about it; the honesty of the relationships, the glimpse into college life I never had, and all the movie business insight. Plus the writing was solid. Things I wasn’t super fond of: the pace was off, really slow going but then almost frantic. I also, felt like the Illuminati reference was almost jokey, because ‘Hey, we now know it’s always the Illuminati don’t we?’
The puzzle aspect of the book, the clues and the paths that they took, was really interesting, I enjoyed seeing how the teams would work things out, and I really loved the bit with Malcolm McDowell who is a great actor.
Now to the honesty part, I don’t know that I like Stanley Kubrick. I’ve not watched many of his movies, and the one I have seen all the way through, Full Metal Jacket, I am not a fan of. I don’t think you need to be a fan though, because it is obvious the author Mr Kent is. He has done an amazing amount of research into the filmmakers life and work. It was so interesting to learn about his process and his plans. The pictures that the author incorporated throughout the book were great for helping the reader to recognize things they may not know, as I’m not a fan, though I have heard of a good deal of the movies and have seen bits of each of them throughout the years.
At the end of it, I was glad I finished Kubrick’s Game. The end of the puzzle was satisfying, and the character growth was well done.
*And now to the bonus content. This isn’t just a book review, it’s also a interview! I was asked to come up with a few questions for the author, Derek Tayor Kent, and we conducted an interview via email (it’s all the rage these days).
Me: Obviously I need to know, are you in fact a Kubrick superfan?
Kent: Oh yes. Since I was about 14 years old. After reading Ready Player One, I couldn’t stop thinking about how awesome it was that Ernest Cline was able to craft a gripping thriller based on his passion for 80’s pop culture. It got me thinking what I was most passionate about, and the answer was clear — Stanley Kubrick. Watching 2001 in high school made me want to be a filmmaker. I then embarked on a solid year and a half of intensive research and found out what I thought I knew was just the tip of the iceberg and I was so excited to share everything I had learned, plus some new discoveries I made, via a page-turning puzzle-adventure story.
Me: Where did the inspiration for the scavenger hunt in Kubrick’s Game come from? Is it a real thing?<Kent: If you are talking about whether the game I describe in the book is actually real or not, what I can say is that I started off intending for it to be totally fiction, but then I uncovered a few things that made me think that it may not be so fictional after all.
If you’re referring to the real life scavenger hunt that’s hinted at at the end of the book, that is VERY real, and is currently being put together and orchestrated by myself and the puzzle geniuses who run Fantastic Race – FantasticRace.com. They do massive scavenger hunts all over the world and have also created awesome escape rooms like The Virus in Burbank. So when you finish reading the book and want to test your own mettle for puzzle-solving, you will be able start your own adventure as soon as the book is released on September 26, 2016. You can win some incredible prizes should you succeed.
Just make sure to go to http://www.derektaylorkent.com/work/#/kubricksgame/to begin, but you have to read the book first because details from the book will be in the puzzles.
Me: How did you find the change from writing for kids to writing for adults?
Kent: It was the most difficult part of the process for sure. I had been exclusively writing picture books and middle-grade fiction (ala my series Scary School), so the writing styles were entirely different. I pretty much had to retrain myself to write long sentences and use more complex language than I was used to using. Luckily, my screenplays tend to veer more adult, so I still felt comfortable telling more mature stories, but the prose writing took a long time to get accustomed to and required a good deal of editing.
Me:What’s next?<Kent: Depending on how Kubrick’s Game is received, I may work on a sequel to that. I’ve also been writing narrative scripts for Virtual Reality and have a pretty epic Sci-Fi series that I’ve just started working on. I also have a couple middle-grade books that I’m finishing up and hope to get on the shelves soon. One is about a ten-year-old kid who becomes principal of his school called Principal Mikey and another is about superhero cows called The Mootants.
Me: What’s one thing you never get asked, but want the world to know?
Kent: I get most of my creativity from my mom, artist Melanie Taylor Kent. She is an incredible painter, primarily known for doing epic pieces for Walt Disney, Warner Bros., LucasFilm, Steven Spielberg, The Rose Parade, and tons of others. She was known as the go-to artist for commemorative paintings of any American and international celebration. At my place I have have a Main Street Electrical Parade painting/multi-media sculpture that plays the Electrical Parade music and all the floats light up with fiber optics. Google her and you’ll see what I mean.
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