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My name is Gatsby.

I am an aspiring writer, professional asshole and worst of all, a teenager.

I'm at the age of 19 now, hopefully attending and living at the University of Madonna come fall. The career I'm aiming for now will probably be Nursing in the specialty of ER Medicine, though I'm also interested in anything mental health related.

I'm more of a movie buff than I am a gamer, but when it comes down to it, I love all forms of entertainment. Right now, I'm drifting apart from gaming because I'm poor and generally don't feel that gaming has improved enough over the years for me to keep pouring money into it, but as always I'm eager to discuss games as a medium and will remain a gamer for life, no matter how estranged I am.

I write fiction and non fiction and am currently doing my best to improve in both. I hope to get to the level where I'm skilled enough to have anything published, and I can say that I won't be able to die happy if I'm never able to accomplish my fiction and non fiction goals.

That being said, there isn't a whole lot more to be as I'm an incredibly boring person, so here's a list of some of my favorite books, movies, and games.

Favorite Games:

Sonic and Knuckles
Pokemon Gold
The Super Smash Brothers Series
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy IX
Threads of Fate
Final Fantasy X
God of War
Kingdom Hearts 1
Kingdom Hearts 2
Metal Gear Solid 2
Metal Gear Solid 3
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Metroid Fusion
Metal Gear Solid 4

Favorite Movies:

Pulp Fiction
Lost in Translation
Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2
Seven Samurai
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Nightmare before Christmas
Spiderman 2
The Dark Knight
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
Joint Security Area
The Godfather
Shutter Island

Favorite Books:

A Game of Thrones
A Storm of Swords
The Name of the Wind
The Great Gatsby
The Good Earth
The Fountainhead
The Chocolate Wars
The Sun Also Sets
(I kind of fell out of reading for most of highschool and am now getting back into it, always down for reading recommendations)

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1:33 PM on 01.08.2010

There are very few books that have confused me as much as Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game”. Featuring the story of a timid boy genius who’s burdened with the task of saving mankind from a race of sentient antlike creatures often referred to as “The Buggers”, “Ender’s Game” juggles several themes and questions, and for the most part, ignores them entirely.

The story takes place in a not so distant future where after two full scale invasions by the Buggers, all the humans of Earth are now united among a single front. The International Fleet comprises of a combination of all their forces, and together they’re anxiously waiting for The Buggers to make their return. Despite having made plenty of technological strides such as gaining the ability for faster than light travel, gaining weapons that make the nukes of yesteryear look like nothing, and control over weather and gravity, there seems to still be no answer for the finite resources on Earth, and because of that, there has been a strict population control placed on Earth allowing each family to only have two children.

The main premise of the book is that the Government is convinced that only a genius can be tasked with the future of mankind. Specifically, a genius with the right temperament that they can raise from scratch and develop into the perfect weapon. After Ender’s older siblings fail their evaluations because of their temperaments, Ender is eventually chosen to be the new hope for mankind after he passes a graduation test involving accidently murdering a bully.

After Ender is chosen, the majority of the book features his training in Battle School and eventually Command School.

Off the bat, the first thing that put my off in “Ender’s Game” was the general lack of intrigue involved in the story. The book only contains one likable character whose chapters are often the saving grace from the purgatory of boredom that encompasses Ender’s daily life in Battle School and are sadly, too far and in between to save the book from total monotony. Like mentioned earlier, while the book will often ask questions and juggle themes about Ender’s psyche, and the morality involved in what’s happening to him, the book takes a neutral stance and refuses to be introspective in any manner.

This is used to good effect in some cases. For example, one of the general themes consists of how ruthless and violent Ender is. He often regrets his actions, but his tears do little to aid the heavily injured and sometimes dead assailants of his. In a wise move, the author neither denounces it nor promotes it, instead merely accepting it as a fact of Ender’s life.

However, that same approach is what causes the vast majority of the problems in “Ender’s Game”. “Ender’s Game” started out as a novella that only featured Ender’s exploits within Battle School and Command School. All else including a brief look at Ender’s life before Battle School, a look at the exploits of Ender’s siblings, and a look at Ender’s life after the book’s climax were merely added in to likely explain previously ambiguous parts about the novella. Despite all the additions that were made, clocking in at less than 450 pages, “Ender’s Game” proves to be an example of a book that means too much but says too little.

The narrative in Ender’s Game is one that takes place over seventy years. Though it contains many important events, the only part of the book that is given any real attention are the zero gravity mock battles that Ender participates in while in Battle School. This is something that may have worked in the novella given its focus, but in “Ender’s Game”, it proves to be a remarkably stupid move on the author’s part. As a result of the book’s complete lack of focus as to what’s important, the story becomes completely unconcerned with the journey and destination, and instead plans to focus on the lessons that Ender learns through battle. Lessons that prove to hold no importance as his Battle School exploits soon lose all relevance in Command School, and once in Command School, there are more lessons to be learned still, yet Ender’s quickly ends in what’s likely one of the largest narrative cop-outs since Robert Jordan had the nerve to die before finishing his “Wheel of Time” series.

Near the midpoint of the book, Ender’s Game creates the illusion that it may contain more than meets the eye when suspicions are aroused about what the true purpose of the Battle School is. Questions arise as to whether or not The Bugger’s exist or not, and as this question is being readily asked, the shaky alliances that once united mankind begin to crumble, and war seems imminent. As an author completely incapable of subtly and pacing, this is merely brought up, mostly ignored and then comically resolved as the book concludes.

The book’s only saving grace is the one found in Ender’s sweet older sister, Valentine. The book features a few chapters involve Valentine and her sociopathic older brother Peter and their exploits involving creating alternate personas to start rallying support to their cause in a manner similar to that of John Galt in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. These chapters provide an extremely refreshing change of pace by keeping the author’s laughable attempts at creating character conflict to a minimum while telling an extremely interested story that’s half fueled by the pure intrigue of its events, and half fueled by the fact that Valentine happens to be the only three dimensional character in the book,

“Ender’s Game” is all story with no story telling. It’s bloated, clunky and shallow all at the time. It’s like that girl in class who seems like she could’ve been smart at one point if she didn’t spend all her time getting spray tanned while letting the entire football team run train on her.

A good piece of fiction transcends it’s length. 800 pages didn’t feel like 800 pages in George R.R Martin’s “Game of Thrones”, and James Cameron’s Avatar didn’t feel like it was three hours long. That’s because these materials contain characters you care about, and are well focused and well paced materials. “Ender’s Game” is neither of those. At 430 pages, it’s hard to say that Ender feels longer than it is, while it’s even harder to say that it’s length feels just right. As a whole, Ender doesn’t feel like anything. It evokes no emotion and doesn’t tell that great of a story. I feel like the mark of any good work of fiction is one that you can’t bear to part with. It’s something that’s well paced, so when the ending does approach, it’s like the final Sunday before summer break ends and school begins yet again; the bittersweet moment of farewell, making you sad that it’s coming to an end, yet equally grateful for the quality of the journey. As “Ender’s Game” concluded, I felt no such feelings.

I feel as if I’ve gained nothing for reading it, and would recommend against anybody reading this book. There’s often a joke dispensed among amateur writers that “If a book like Twilight can get published, anything is possible.” While this is something that rings very true, it’s very hard to measure Twilight’s success in anything other than sales and the adoration demographic containing the kind of people that we as a species don’t take very seriously in the first place. I find that a better joke would be something along the lines of “If “Ender’s Game” can win the Hugo Award for “Best Novel” than anything truly is possible.” With that in mind, color me inspired.

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