Friday, April 30, 2010

HP Slate Cancelled

TechCrunch reports that the Hewlett Packard Windows 7-based Tablet project has been canceled. Crunchgear predicted--it seems accurately--that the Windows 7 Slate was a non-starter because the OS, even with pen/touch-based additions was not appropriate for a tablet-based experience and the power consumption problems made it prohibitive.

Speculation is that HP will use either Chrome or a revamped Palm-OS with essentially the same hardware. Perhaps Microsoft can work with HP and the Courier OS/User Interface to come up with a coordinated release of the Slate and a tablet-specific OS other (better?) than Chrome or Android.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Microsoft cancels the Courier Tablet

Gizmodo reports that Microsoft has canceled the Courier tablet. The innovative tablet was said by many to be the strongest challenger to the iPad. Before the iPad was a gleam in Steve;s eye the Courier was going to break the tablet/netbook market wide open and possibly destroy the kindle.

The Courier was a folding two screen tablet. The most amazing thing about the device was its operating system. It was a touch/pen based system designed specifically for the touchscreen. If you watch the video you'll see a paradigm of tablet usability far superior to any Android/iPhone system out there.

A terrible shame.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New e-ink technology faster, durable, animated

Take a look at the videos showcasing the new e-ink technology posted at The page transitions are faster, though you can still see the black screen refresh typical of e-ink readers. The animation in the video is probably as good as it gets right now, but it is an improvement.

Ectaco 5" (jetBook-Lite) $109 at

Ectaco 5" High Resolution e-Book Reader (jetBook-Lite)

  • 640x480 TFT LCD screen
  • SD Card reader, USB port
  • uses 4 AA batteries
  • Support of ePub, Mobi, PRC, RTF, .txt, .pdf, .fb2, .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp file and DRM format through Barnes and Nobles
  • Adjustable font type and size

Only $109Cdn at, which is $30 cheaper than it was on the Apr 17th when I thought it was the best deal out there. Shipping charges are also waived. This may be a limited time offer.

Biggest drawback I can see is that it doesn't have a backlit screen like my ebw-1150.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eken M001 Android WIFI Tablet

This looks really good. Its a 7" tablet with wifi running Android 1.6. It is also cheap enough to use as a simple e-reader.

Apparently it has a very responsive and accurate touchscreen (although I don't know if it is multi-touch), an accelerometer, and a nice set of built-in features and installed apps (including e-reader software). One review said that is also has a built-in 1.3Mp camera, and will also support an external hard drive of up to 16 GB (through device-specific docking port?). Even without the camera it is a bargain.

The big downside mentioned in most reviews is that it has a poor battery life. Another question is how easy it will be to upgrade to Android 2.1.

  • 600 MHz WonderMedia PRIZM MW8505
  • 2 GB internal NAND flash storage, 128 MB of DDR2 RAM
  • audio port, an SD card reader (of up to 32 GB), USB port
  • 7", 800 x 480 TFT screen.

The Eken M001 TP701 Android WIFI Tablet is available in Canada from for $125 right now. Video: EKEN M001 Android tablet for USD100 Eken's 7'' Android Tablet Starts @ $100 Eken M001 7” Google Android 1.6 iPad Tablet Slate PC UMPC MID Netbook

Monday, April 26, 2010


A fascinating internet phenomenon that started on facebook and ended up as the humorous news bit on every news program on television. In reaction to the muslim cleric declaring that women 3who dress immodestly are responsible for earthquakes, a female feminist blogger started boobquake; women were asked to dress as immodestly today to see if showing cleavage would, in fact, cause more than the usual number of earthquakes (there were earthquakes, but not more than usual).

The webcomics Girls with Slingshots and Wapsi Square had comics in support of the event, but Something Positive had an interesting commentary on the issue.

Its kind of sad that The South Park episode gets censored by Comedy Central and hardly anyone raises an eyebrow. A response to a retarded Iranian prayer leader's comments in the form of an internet experiment involving cleavage and sarcasm invites the attention (and snickers) of the world.

Barnes and Nobel Sweeten the Nook Pot

Barnes and Nobel has introduced some new services for the Nook e-reader in the hope of attracting more interest. A software upgrade adds the ability to play chess or sudoku. You can now read entire books when you are inside the store, and there are now many more wi-fi hotspots that the Nook can connect to.

Nothing really revolutionary here. As a matter of fact you can only read "entire" books in the store with a limit of only one hour access per day for a limited selection of books.

It is a good indication, though, that the e-book market is in rapid flux. If Apple doesn't lock down the 'luxury' market of best-sellers for itself we may see a future where its a buyers (e)market.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn 2 - The Well of Ascension

The second book of the Mistborn series is equal, if not superior, to the an excellent first book in terms of quality of writing. Very often in the "big fat fantasy series" you find occasional tracts of awkward prose or stale dialog. Sanderson either has high personal standards or an excellent editor and team of proofers. The story continues (a year later) from the climactic overthrow of the Lord Ruler to a last stand against against the old ruling system represented by the siege of the capital city by no less than three invading armies.

Our protagonist, Vin, struggles with self-identity while defending her love-interest, King Elend. Political intrigue carries the plot forward as we discover more about this world. Through the study of ancient writings we also discover more about the mysterious events of a millennium ago that led to the creation of the Lord Ruler and the terrible changes to the environment.

The political shenanigans in the story seem incomplete and uninspired. Some interesting characters were set up early in the book to populate the new political system created after 1000 years of tyranny, but there is no payoff by the end of the book. Hopefully the last book will take up where this book left off. Its hard to tell if it was intentional not.

The window on the world is opened up a little more with more time spent looking at other species and races. A more global view of the conflicts that beset the ash-covered, mist-shrouded world is balanced against a love triangle of sorts that really doesn't do much for the story, and a "traitor in our midst" sub-plot that carried the story through some tedious protagonist hand-wringing chapters.

The best part of the book was moving the Terris Keeper Sazed up to the forefront. Through him we saw all of the additional "world-building" development in the book. The use of Sazed's feruchemical powers is contrasted against Vin's allomantic exploits. Sazed also gives us a (limited) look at the rest of the world, and a strong perspective on the events of the past that led to the current situation.

As with the first book there is a strong climactic conclusion with enough story left hanging to make you want to pick up the next book as soon as possible. Now that the Well of Ascension has been located and used "correctly" we are left with some surprises and more questions.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The remarkable resilience of steampunk - Paul Di Filippo has a great article by Paul Di Filippo, the author of The Steampunk Trilogy, Ribofunk, and A Year in the Linear City.

He gives a clear and concise definition, description, and history of the Steampunk genre and discusses the current state of the steampunk and how it has embedded itself into our culture. He then goes on to review four recent offerings in the Steampunk genre.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Astri MyID - E-reader/browser

Open it up and the left side is a 5" e-ink display, the right side is a 4.8" 800x480 colour LCD touchscreen. It runs Android, supports flash, and is powerful enough to play a movie. It isn't on the market yet, but suggested retail price would be $130-$150. If it comes with wifi this could be the ideal portable e-reader/check my mail while in Starbucks device.

Hands on video of the Astri dual screen reader (Digital Reader)
Astri MyID Dual Screen eBook Reader (OhGizmo)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Paradigm Shift EER-051D e-reader - cheap... but is it cheap?

There is little hard news out on this yet. You can check out the Press Release at Engadget. It has a 5" LCD color screen, has an FM tuner and MP3 support. It also has 2GB of internal memory and an SD card slot. I'm hopeful, but it may be a new version of the crappy Delstar available from Walgreens.

At $130 US it may be the best bang for the buck.

The Kobo e-Reader

If I was going to get an e-ink reader just to see what it is like I'd get the Kobo. At $149 Cdn. its the cheapest e-ink reader out there. According to a very good detailed review at OhGizmo, it is also a very solid, elegantly designed and well-manufactured basic e-reader.

It comes with a 6" e-ink display with 8 levels of gray (compared to 16 for the kindle), and a 1GB SD card (upgradeable). It has no wifi, 3G, or MP3 capability (USB or bluetooth only). The deal breaker for me (besides needing a reading lamp to read in low-light conditions) is that it doesn't have the capability for notes, markup, or bookmarks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Aluratek Libre Pro e-reader

The Aluratek Libre Pro e-reader is on sale at

$139.99 CAD
Savings Code 50398-1230. SAVE $30.00 off our regular price of $169.99 if you buy today! Special price ends 4/20/2010.

Its has a 5"-640x480 LCD screen and supports ePub, PDF, and the other basic formats. It comes with a 2GB SD card, and can be upgraded. It also plays MP3s.

There is a so-so review at PCWORLD. Its a bit short and I'm not particularly swayed by their complaint about battery life.

I'm tempted by this one but apparently the unit doesn't come with a back-lit screen. Apparently the Aluratek people wanted to look like e-ink without actually using the technology. Since I do much of my night-time reading solely in the warm comforting glow of the TV or computer screen this can be a deal breaker.

Apparently there is a market out there for add-on night lights for e-ink readers -- those clip-on LED lights that are still marketed for reading dead-tree books in bed. If I'm going to plunk down some green for a new reader I do not want to have to pay $20-30 bucks extra for a 3W lamp.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Widget Crazy: RocketDock and Yahoo! Widgets

I haven't been reading much the last two days. I've succumbed to the biggest time waster of all time: making the computer look prettier. Playing with cursors, icon sets, wallpapers, themes and desktop widgets consumes untold hours while providing little benefit. And then, ultimately, an OS upgrade or a reinstall and everything has to be tweaked all over again.

This time I tried two widget packages on my Windows XP system: RocketDock and  Yahoo! Widgets (formerly Konfabulator).

RocketDock emulates the Macintosh Dock; I'm trying to set it up to replace the Windows taskbar and have had some success. I installed it because I like the zoom/focus, animated icons, and the thumbnail applications when minimized.

Yahoo! Widgets is another Docking system, but its primarily for hosting the Widgets: tiny application that do one thing only. So far I'm using I've found that the weather widget works flawlessly. And dozens of other widgets are crap.

I'll probably uninstall them in another day or two.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My next e-book reader

Yesterday, after recharging, my ebookwise 1150 world not power up. After a moment of panic I enabled the hard reset feature and it came back to life. After two and a half years of constant use I was worried that it had permanently given up the ghost, I knew that the device was manufactured several years before it got into my hands so parts could expire at any time.

I've been very careful with the reader. I always run it until the battery is completely exhausted and then do a full recharge. I managed to only scratch the glass once; and that was a tiny nick. Hopefully it will last for another year or two (or three), but just in case I'm going to keep track of the best bargains out there in case I've got to replace my reader. My basic requirements are that its at least a 5" screen and is priced well under $150 (under $200 if it is really awesome).

The Delstar OpenBook E-Book Reader (available at Walgreens's for $95 US) that I mentioned in a previous post is, apparently, a piece of crap. It is horribly slow, does not render documents well, crashes frequently, and has serious problems with its basic features (i.e. if you change font size it resets to the first page).

I think the the Ectaco Jetbook Lite may be the best bargain right now. Its available at at $139 Cdn.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bitter Seeds: A book I'd like to read soon

Positive reviews from Cory Doctorow (BITTER SEEDS: Alternate WWII novel pits English warlocks against Nazi X-Men), and John Scalzi (The Big Idea: Ian Tregillis) for Ian Tregillis's Bitter Seeds.

Bitter Seeds is an alternate history of WWII with Germany fielding a group of comic-book style supervillians and the British using warlocks and blood magick. It is the first book of a trilogy (Milkweed Triptych).

You can get the Prologue to the book at the author's website.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Viewsonic shakes up e-reader market

Viewsonic has launched two new e-readers. The 6-inch VEB620 and VEB625 readers are both have e-ink, 800x600 touch screens with wi-fi connectivity. Besides the usual extra goodies like SD-card slot and MP3 playing capability, both models come with a G-sensor so that you can change from portrait to landscape just by turning the reader, or page back and forth by shaking it.

Its only available in Europe/UK right now and prices are pretty high: estimated at £179/£205.

The Digital Reader

Peter Straub - In The Night Room

In the Night Room is the sequel to Lost Boy Lost Girl, this story is quite interesting in that it deals with wrapping up some lose ends in the first story.

The mix of fantasy and reality is furthered when a character from the hero's book moves into reality to help him resolve outstanding conflicts from the first book.

The multiplicity of worlds and living in the novel as a concept was really well done by Jasper Fforde's Thursday series. Straub's take on it, and its relationship to heaven and hell was interesting.

The sub-plot of the gay hero falling in love with his female protagonist was pretty interesting.

Overall the action was pretty restrained and the tension and suspense left the book more a drama and less a horror.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Peter Straub - Lost Boy Lost Girl

A very good haunted house story. Strong, well-paced character development, and a well-constructed plot carries us suspense-fully through to a satisfying ending. This is not a blood and gore type horror story, but the tension builds beautifully until the blood and depravity we do see is sufficient.

A writer from New York returns to his home town to help look for his missing nephew. The teen is apparently the victim of a serial killer. The nephew's story revolves around a haunted house, where a girl had been murdered by her father, another serial killer.

The portrayal of the boy's family problems and the characters around town adds a level of reality to the story that makes the supernatural events both more believable and spooky. The mix of 'human' and 'supernatural' evil also makes this a thinking person's horror novel.

Well worth the read.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Robert J Sawyer - Flashforward

Physicists at CERN's Hadron Collider fail to create the elusive Higgs-Boson particle, but everyone on the planet collapses and for two minutes experience their lives 21 years in the future. After recovering from the worldwide destruction a number of scientific and philosophical questions are raised. What is the nature of time and consciousness? Is the future fixed? What about free will?

It took me several months to finish this book. While the philosophical concepts that drive the book are interesting, the characters were, while not one-dimensional, boring. The protagonists had to deal with the loss of loved ones as well as the dilemma of living their lives with the knowledge of where they were going to end up in 21 years. With possibly the exception of Theo, who had to deal with a 'certain' future of being murdered, there was no dramatic tension because we really didn't care what happened to anyone.

Sawyer's Calculating God, also work of science fiction with a strong a philosophical depth, was a much more compelling read. The protagonists were sympathetic creations of some substance. Through these characters we were full participants in the discussion -- does god exist, why is the universe set up the way it is -- and enjoyed the story through to the end.

The end of the book takes the a sharp turn from the plodding action interspersed with dense scientific exposition to a 'high-speed' chase followed by a 2001 Space Odyssey-esque journey into the future.

Overall I think, despite finding the book so easy to put down, the story would have been more compelling if it had been a little bit longer. We would have been better served if Sawyer had given us the opportunity to have more of an emotional attachment to the characters before he launched them into this scientific thought-experiment.

Still, the ideas expressed in the book can be found nowhere else in popular literature. It will stick with me for years. For that alone it is worth the read.

The TV series shares the Flashforward science, but the vision is only 6 months into the future. The main storyline involves FBI agents, secret cabals, alcoholism, infidelity, gunfire and explosions. I don't know if the show would benefit from being more cerebral, but I'm sure the book would've benefited from adding (not replacing) the TV show's action and melodrama to existing scientific-philosophical what-if story.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Terry Goodkind - The Law of Nines

I finally got around to reading The Law of Nines after finishing the Sword of Truth series a few years ago. I thought it might be worth reading since it made the New York Times best-seller list. Blurbs I had read led me to believe it was a change from his fantasy stuff, being a mystery/thriller, perhaps more occult than fantasy-related. I was wrong in both cases. It was neither a change from his fantasies nor was it worth reading.

The book takes place 1000 years after the last book of SOT and in our mundane world where Richard Rahl had sent the anti-magic people from his world. The hero Alexander Rahl, the last surviving member of the House of Rahl, meets a gorgeous blonde from another world and together they battle assassins that spy through mirrors and can appear and disappear at will. They flee while trying to solve the mystery of why evil anti-freedom forces are out to kill and/or control him.

Spaced in between fairly interesting action scenes and a wooden love story we get thinly disguised libertarian lectures. After a 2nd amendment diatribe about how horrible it is that people can't carry concealed weapons I was reminded of Faith of the Fallen, a nightmare welfare state where the most talented and productive people are reviled. It looks like Goodkind has decided that good and evil is arbitrary and the important battle is the one between left and right.

Goodkind was never a master craftsman when it came to prose, but as a pretty good storyteller, he's managed to produce a book that you can speed through pretty quickly. When he latched on to the idea of writing a fantasy series in parallel to the superior Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan he came up with a winning formula. While waiting for the next WOT book to come out a SOT book was a good way to fill the time. Now that he is trying to stand out on his own there is nothing to hide his mediocrity.

As a matter of fact this book is bad compared to SOT. The overuse of tired cliches, awkward run-on sentences, and dialog that runs on and on and yet adds nothing to the story is evidence that either Goodkind is coasting. He needs an editor that will either fix his mistakes or call him out on sub-par writing.

The title comes from the fact that he inherits a crucial piece of land at age 27. Two plus seven is nine; three nines are twenty-seven. That's it, some facile numerology.

If you read all of Sword of Truth then you may as well breeze through this in a few hours . Otherwise give it a pass. There are a lot of great fantasy writers out there who deserve your time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The The Impotence Of Proofreading

When I get tired of double checking my posts and I can watch this and take heart.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fred Saberhagen - Dracula Sequence 02 - The Holmes-Dracula File

If anything the second book is better than the first. Dracula returns to England six years after the first book. His adventures coincide with Sherlock's latest case. Chapters alternate between Dracula's unique perspective on events and Watson's almost typical rendition of a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

The two mythic characters eventually team up to bring the evil-doers to justice (rough Dracula-style justice) and save the city of London from a horrible fate.

The mystery aspect of the story makes this second installment more exciting to read. Since this is a Dracula story we are never sure if nothing terrible will happen to Holmes, Watson, or Lestrade. Saberhagen presents the Holmesian characters well and integrate them seamlessly into the Dracula world. The story is well-paced, with good action, restrained gore, and a well-constructed setup and payoff.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fred Saberhagen - Dracula Sequence 01 - The Dracula Tape

The transcription of a cassette tape found in a car abandoned during a snowstorm in England recounts the story of Dracula as told by the vampire himself. He paints himself as the hero, of course, and Van Helsing as a boorish, evil man.

The story is quite entertaining in that it contrasts 'journal entries' from Helsing, and the Harkers with Dracula's recollection of the events from Harkers trip to Transylvania to events in England, and back to Dracula's castle and his apparent demise. Some of the Victorian language is a bit off-putting, but the story is rather amusing. Saberhagen paints Dracula quite well as a believable and sympathetic character.

Definitely written well enough to read more books in the series. I have 9 of them but there may be more. Also may want to read The Frankenstein Papers, by Saberhagen; as well I should read the original Dracula by Bram Stoker -- see if any of the Victorian language used by Saberhagen is taken directly from the original book.

If your are looking for a vampire series without the teenage angst or kinky sex common in the current crop, then check out the first book of this series.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Martin Amis - Dead Babies

Nasty pointless lives snuffed out. Similar in theme to London Fields. This time the characters are a mix of upper class twits, American ex-hippie freaks, a dwarf, and a street-urchin-turned Lothario.

They spend the weekend in a 'country house' outside of London to experiment with drugs and sex and booze and have a good time. Things turn from rotten to rottenest to death.

Martin is apparently a master at flawed characters. All of the characters have serious flaws and the mix of these rotten characters over the weekend turns into surreal ugliness.

With an ugly ending, this story is disturbing and unsatisfying.

I've got to read something light to get Dead Babies out of my mind. The tone is of sad, inevitable death and dissolution among all these characters. With no redeeming acts (except perhaps for the dwarf) to give any hope in this story, one must have a strong constitution not to be affected by this book.

I had hoped that there would be some humour in his books, but it is all far too dark.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn 1 - The Final Empire

The Final Empire is the first book of the (completed) Mistborn trilogy. For a thousand years the sky has been obscured by clouds and ash falls regularly in this dreary world. The Lord Ruler, a God-like figure who started out as the Hero of Ages, has ruled tyrannically ever since a world-changing event a millennium ago.

The rebels Kelsier, Vin, and their friends, fight to free the skaa people from slavery by overthrowing and/or killing the Lord Ruler and bringing down his system of ruling Houses and the subjugation or extermination of all other races and species.

The storyline follows the usual plot points of a team of underdogs working together accomplish the impossible. There is companionable banter among confederates, the unforeseen setbacks and recovery, and the love interest the puts the whole plan in jeopardy.

The usual issue of the traitor in the ranks is treated a little differently. Trust and betrayal is a central theme to the story. Kelsier is betrayed by his wife years ago; Vin is betrayed by her brother (after constantly promising that he is going to do so). How our heroes deal with their respective betrayals is central to the resolution at the end of this book.

Kelsier and Vin are both Allomancers; magic users in this world. Sanderson has devised a complex and 'scientific' magic system whereby metals and their alloys are swallowed and activated to produce different physical and magical effects. Although fairly complex, the different magics are clearly explained by the device of having Kelsier teach Vin all about magic.

Enjoyed the book very much: interesting, well-developed characters and good battle-magic action scenes. The plot moves slowly at first but the pace picks up quickly. There is good resolution at the end of the book; it could have easily been a standalone novel. Look forward to reading the next two books.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Martin Amis - London Fields

A peculiar book that concentrates on three 'bathetic' characters that are watched by a novelist who documents their twisted lives and a 'preordained' conclusion to their relationship. The writer is in fact the fourth 'bathetic' character and the novel within a novel approach is well crafted by Amis. And the surprise ending is quite effective.

The themes of the nasty pointless lives of the lower class metropolitan London class, the 'world crisis', and class differences is played well against the plight of the writer in the story. All the major characters are well crafted and rather unique in the dimensions they fill.

I wanted to read a 'British' novel with some dry humour for a change of pace and I got some very dark, cynical humour indeed. Apparently some of Amis's favourite themes are babies, physics, and perhaps the mundanity of man's darkest desires. I particularly enjoyed the British darts theme, as opposed to the typical football sub-text found in British novels. Amis portrayed the London criminal class and the multi-ethnicity of that world quite well.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The iPad makes julienne fries

My favourite review of the new iPad tablet is by Cory Doctorow entitled Why I won't buy  an iPad (and don't think you should either). His first point is the most important and all his subsequent arguments reinforce it: Incumbents made bad revolutionaries. Apple has essentially modified the iPod a bit to lock more consumers into a restrictive marketplace of content and applications.

My favourite quote in Doctorow's article is in fact a reference to William Gibson's description of a "consumer" as "something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote."

The iPad is, in fact, not a product designed with consumers in mind, but designed to maximize the profits of corporate content providers. This is why there has been so much positive buzz about this product in the traditional media.

You know when something is fishy when someone reports that the lack of multitasking is a feature so that the user can concentrate on one thing at a time. Another article tried to claim that writing on an iPad is practical except he had to use an external bluetooth keyboard and a desktop PC to complete the experiment.

This is not a computer for people, its a product for sweaty potatoes.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

David Forrest - And to my Nephew Albert I Leave the Island What I won off Fatty Hagan in a Poker Game

AND TO MY NEPHEW ALBERT I LEAVE THE ISLAND WHAT I WON OFF FATTY HAGAN IN A POKER GAME... is probably the longest title of a novel I've ever seen. A humorous British novel set in the sixties cold war. An island off the coast of Britain (in the Scillies) is occupied by American and Russian soldiers and they learn to get along and have a good time.

The inheritor of the island, a young British man, suffers the trials of trying to get his girlfriend into the sack while stranded on the island with the soldiers and the girl's father.

Quite funny. Not very in-depth in terms of character. Nor is there much interesting in the way of a plot. Views into the ignorant silliness happening in the rest of the world was quite enjoyable. The fuzzy-headed British PM was especially funny.

Well worth the read.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Winston Groom - Forrest Gump

Made famous from the movie, the book is a more realistic look at a fantastic character. For one thing Tom Hanks is _not_ Gump. Gump is 6'6" tall and 240lbs of muscle. He is an idiot, but drinks beer and smokes dope. I don't recall his musical and mathematical talent mentioned in the movie either

His relationship with Jennie is more intimate and complex, with Jennie more 'within reach' than the movie portrays. Interestingly, Jennie would have married Gump except for his cheating at professional wrestling.

Lieutenant Dan is also quite different, less torn up and angry by the war than he is a lost soul. A college professor, he is not 4th generation soldier torn up because he didn't die on the battlefield like his ancestors.

Many scenes in common, by far more that is different. His band in Boston, space mission, time in New Guinea with the cannibals, and the pro wrestling circuit are all facets that are not in the movie.

Fun read, good to see the book was fuller than the movie. Interesting to see Gump as less of a saint, 'specially with the coon and jigaboo talk about blacks. Note also that Bubba the shrimper was white, and Gump had no black friends. He is not a racist though.