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What am I reading, here?
on 30 March 2009
As way of introduction, let me assert that I am an English Literature student, as well as in the process of having a novel published. I always try to look for the best in a piece of literature.
The Metal Gear Solid book...what is there to say? I bought it thinking "This will be fun." As I loved the games. How wrong was I. Raymond Benson, a name I hadn't previously heard, can not write. His sentence structure is uninteresting, his characters aren't even 2D, and his dialogue! Oh dear!
Let me start with characterisation. Solid Snake, in the games, was a tough, rugged killing/sneaking machine. In this? He's a cheesy American teenager using phrases such as "I have no beef with you." Beef? Please! For the love of all things written! Note, that is a DIRECT QUOTE. He's a rugged 33 year old cold-blooded killer, he doesn't have a skateboard. Snake is the only mildly developed character. Benson seems to have a knack for useless characters.
Next, the likeness to the game: pretty darn good! BUT this is a downside, rather than a plus. I think Benson must of had the strategy guide whilst writing this book. Snake, in the novel, seems to go for every single last damned crate! "Oh look! Someone left a crate on the helipad! Now let's explore the area for more boxes!" No, Benson, this does NOT make a good read. It's monotones and dull. However, on the other hand, I enjoy the spurts of nostalgia as a character sticks to the script, or when Snake finds an unusual Easter egg.
The dialogue through out this story is fake. There's no other way to describe it. It's just so unbelievable, you'll find yourself laughing. Sure, the original script for MGS was never award winning, but now...it's appalling. Furthermore, Benson doesn't add anything t the speech, it's all "Snake said", "Meryl said", "she said" etc.
I can't comment on scene/place, or the story concept as we all know that MGS was amazing.
In conclusion, this book is less than decent. Oh Snake, how you were butchered! Benson needs to go back to school, or, at least, start reading decent authors, learn something from them. He is distinctly lacking in talent. The only plus side is the fact you will not be able to put it down and just say "I'm not carrying on", just for the fact that it's called "Metal Gear Solid", and his non-writing is fascinating.