The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

A touching story about a homeless man with schizophrenia and a journalist in L.A. I liked most of the book and I loved how most of the story reflected what they put in the movie. I saw the movie first, the story being sad, of course, but the book was better; which is how it normally is. What I didn’t like was how they don’t really give too much information about what happens to Nathaniel at the end, or where he is now and if he’s still trying to get help. Other than that it gives an inside look of what Nathaniel’s background was and what Steve Lopez wanted to pursue, career-wise and a bit more on his family, also adding how he’s tried to keep in touch with Nathaniel and his sister.


About a Boy/ High Fidelity/ Juliet, Naked/ Slam

I like it. The similarities between the book and the movie are many. It’s like watching over the movie in your head, pretty much, which I enjoyed. It does bring a bit more depth to the movie too, and the endings are different. It’s quite an easy read.

It was a good book, but love the movie more though.

I liked the story, even though some people had a problem with Tucker being such a dick, he was none-the-less a character whom made me want to keep reading and find out what happens to him. Only issue is I don’t really get what the big secret was with his eldest daughter (the movie fleshed it out, for sure) and there wasn’t too much follow-up on what happens with him and Annie. Still a quick and fun read. I lovity-loved the movie with Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd.

I liked the story, but I’m noticing some flaws in the narration that are getting kind of annoying. I understand Hornby is just trying to cover his bases when he explains what “skating” means, but there are some other ones similarly explained which gets irritating. The story itself, though is interesting enough to overlook the frustrating narrative, but I don’t think this one will be a keeper. Ending was a bit disappointing, but the story was still very good, worth the read, after all.

Marceline and the Scream Queens

I’m immediately intrigued, The Marceline expressions are sometimes what’s expected, sometimes very Gran, which considering I adore Octopus Pie. I will dismiss my momentary irritated confusion to immerse myself in the cute little escapades the crew experience.

The first story has Princess Bubblegum not liking Marce’s band and Finn and Jake get her to join them to either enjoy the concert unexpectedly or make fun of it. They take their seats and watch the opening band, whom are quite forgettable and possibly from PB’s kingdom, until Marceline’s stage presence entrances all when her introduction to the show begins. From there Marce and PB work it out and bond-sort of. Jake is left to rule in PB’s absence, which makes some subjects disappointed and Finn bids her a tender-ish farewell.

Then a cut-away story of Marceline playing a supposedly genie-infested guitar and to set him free she must play a song, she warning the creature if he’s lying she’ll kill him. She plays, he’s released and is thanking her when she notices his dishonesty and proceeds to unleash hell unlike anything created by the show I can remember. The creature is saved by his owner, what seems to be a boy and tries to repay Marce for her kindness of releasing his pet when she warns him to be careful from then on when punishing his pet since, when the boy got mad and was trying to punish him, he peed on his guitar and surprises Marceline by “mind-greeting” her which she was not open to, but ends up getting a sweet and much-needed boost of positivity with an unexpected visit from a beloved and missed friend. Delightful side-story.

Next, it’s shown how everyone’s handling PB’s management of the band. Marce and some band mates have a late-night red-bender annoys PB since they will not be well-rested for an interview they have in half an hour, which PB made clear, she wouldn’t be mothering them. Marce has her feathers ruffled when the interviewer miss-speaks their band name and Marceline cuts the radio interview due to such an insult. Then a famous producer shows up and  surprises and intrigues Marce. PB takes the opportunity to kill 2 birds, since Marce had asked for lunch and the producer Vandaltine invited them along. So now Marce has an unexpected business meeting whilst the band and manager set up for the show later.

Marceline becomes hungry and starts noticing the producer in more than a business opportunity kind of way. By the end of this chapter we get to impatiently wait the dramatic continuation as we start another side-story. Marce & PB are in the land of Bloooo where everything’s blue and Marce is hungry, so PB helps by introducing her robot-helper whose British affectation is charming as well as BMO’s. Kevin the robot paints everything red, so Marce will have a supply to nourish herself with. Unfortunately for PB, she made Kevin with the ability to learn to feel something from music so when he hears Marce play, he forgets his job and starts painting the colors he feels, by the end. I like the story more with its nice and tidy ending. I’m enjoying these side-stories more as I go along. I don’t usually like diverting my attention from the main one, but comics are notorious for catering to all them loud and proud (or should be) ADHD-ers, ha-ha. With all the good laughs, I suppose at least they don’t disappoint, if not leaving me getting the tug to continue with the main story, this way is like having same themed commercials: cute, but feeling primed for the main course.

Third chapter begins with Marce going to her photo shoot and PB sleeping in and not needing to remind Marce of said shoot and discovers a note left by Marce letting her know her whereabouts. PB gets a hold of a bad review of the band which Marce hadn’t seen yet, but when PB runs into her and she gets the chance, she doesn’t take it well, to PB’s dismay. They’re second corniest band to Corn and the Cobbs (which is an awesome band name). Marce goes to cool off and possible write some bad-ass angry lyrics in rebellion or stubborn-osity (a nod to Rennison.)

Then a segue to PB and Were-boy, where the reader is double-crossed into thinking he’s a were-wolf when he’s a different sort of “were” altogether. PB and Guy have an awkward get-um close moment when they are interrupted by other band members. Marce gets to the show ready to put the verbal smack down on the crowd and after, ditches the rest of the show, to the crowds clapping, after her artistic break goes better than expected, but the band is shocked and left until the fourth chapter. Then a short story of Lemongrab stating of everything he encounters being unacceptable. Easiest concept and simply amusing. Didn’t divert my mind from the main story, finally. Which in itself, is acceptable, along with the only other acceptable happening in the short story, his attempt at lead-singing an UnAcceptable band. O.M….G Weekly has all the TMZ-like gossip out there on Marce and co. to begin the chapter. Marce is in mid-song when she realizes she doesn’t know it and when she’s told, sees a tidal wave behind the audience. PB has concocted a pressure elixir to acclimate everyone to the water pressure.

They meet a new princess which is very welcome. She develops a kinship with rock music due to its resonance among other notes. PB finally makes some time to call Finn and see how Candy Kingdom’s holding up. Which is fairly well with the substitution of a fungeon…exactly what it sounds like. And then Finn lets her know about a Rule Burning Ceremony, among the fact he, along with Jake and kingdom, could very well have gone through a mental break during her sojourn. Marce and PB talk it out and they make it so their bearing of truths fuel Marce’s song make-em-up abilities and she’s back on stage about to start a song when the tide breaks over her a second time. The Princess of the land is satisfied with results of the concert PB and Marce are properly jeebed out and agree to sally forth to the next chapter. The short-story before this, is adorable with L.S.P. getting a visit from Slime Princess and L.S.P. showing off her favorite possessions along with letting Slime Princess try on a rare t-shirt she has and giving her props to the awesomeness of style it gives her. To be fair it is a cute tee., but then a double-short to this chapter is given! Starchy gets duped with a counterfeit ticket.

The second short story has the Ice King being the source of the counterfeits and has a very abrupt, but funny ending. Marce and band’s next gig takes place in the Nightosphere. Marce is clouded by her own insecurity to see how everyone enjoys her music. PB’s feelings get hurt when Marce doesn’t notice. PB leaves and Marce stays angry and upset. Guy confides another secret to PB and has shown to have dedicated his life to rock in a more significant way than most can.

Marce decides whether she should stay home due to the easiness and least pressure it would be for her. PB goes back to Candy Kingdom. The short story after is adoriblah! It has Jake and Lady having a wizard take Lady’s voice. Jake’s expressions are pinch-able, they’re so cute. Lady starts to communicate through song. Jake becomes forgetful about going after the wizard, Lady leaves, Jake runs into Finn and Finn acts strangely and runs off. Then Lump Princess shares with Jake a philosophical story. BMO has some simplistic advice then goes to sleep. Jake goes to bed, but comes up with a plan. He figures out a way of communicating with Lady. This was beautifully drawn and written. Loved it!

Marce plays the show and everyone starts a creepy fanatic chant. It gets to her and she gets overcome by her dark side. PB comes up with a way to get Marce’s attention which would incite more rage in most. PB then helps her calm down after they found out where all the terrible band reviews were coming from. When the music journalist, out of love for the band, agrees to stop, Marce decides it not to be necessary due to a very responsible way at rationalizing reviews of any kind are good for business, as an ego-checker.

PB comes back to the Candy Kingdom and lays down much-needed laws, turning the little nakie “Lord of the Flies” subjects into upstanding citizens once again. PB says her farewell to the band-mates on their way to create more tune-age and Marce discovers PB actually does enjoy and have interest in her music and despite her doubts, is her friend. It ends how Scott Pilgrim would end, everyone rocking out in the air due to pure gusto and awesomeness.

Whoever came up with the opener stage idea for Marce and crew obviously had Spinal Tap in mind. Marce has a nemesis competitor in this Battle of the Bands. Marce is played the fool when she is “tricked” into showing Stag Lee how her Rock Coffin will work on stage, when he slams the door shut on her so she’s trapped inside. (BMO has the chance to act as the hero in this one, whom I have a soft spot for.) BMO locates the band to inform them what’s happened and they go after Marce, but she gets majorly pissed and makes such a scene as to escape and prove to her band-mates at the same time, she’s made it out alright. The cover gallery in the back has many nice portraits of the gang by different artists. I loved reading this installation and will look for more.