Doctor Strange is one of my all-time favorite comic series because it's unique in the way that it brings together the spiritual, mystical realm with the science fiction realm. Action packed, hilarious & clever, this comic series is amazing. Monsters from other dimensions & the Sorcerer Supreme with his theatrical incantations, what's not to like?
This Marvel edition is a collection of 5 fascinating tales that are full of metaphors & action heroes like Spiderman, Hulk & Captain America.
The first tale is about a demon called Nightmare that has seized control of people's mind & has condemned them to live their worst nightmares for all of eternity and its up to Doctor Strange, Spiderman & Iron Fist to save the day. In the end, its Spiderman who does not succumb to his nightmare & defeats the monster - Nightmare. A powerful metaphor that shows us how nightmares are a reflection of our innermost fears and the only way to tackle them & prevent them from enslaving us for all of eternity is to face up to our fears.
Bruce Banner & The Half Monkey Prince:
The second tale is about Dr Banner reaching out to Doctor Strange to part from the Hulk inside of him. As Doctor Strange pierces the Veil of the Darker Dimension to cast off Hulk out there, the monster Dormammu from the Darker Dimension enters our world and wreaks havoc & the combined efforts of Strange & Hulk help defeat Dormammu but in the process Dr Banner & Hulk are magically sealed together. In the end, Dr Banner makes his peace with being stuck with a green monster inside of him. A powerful metaphor to remind us that we operate on dual level in the world & perhaps each side has a role to play in saving us & in saving the world.
A Very Strange Tale:
The third tale is about monsters called Zakimiya feeding on the fabric of reality & Doctor Strange & Spiderman duping the Zakimiya to instead eat the black holes & leave the fabric of reality alone. An interesting metaphor on how false images & deception can look very real & how monstrous things warp our fabric of reality.
The fourth tale is about the monster Dormammu breaking out from the Dark Dimension & wreaking destruction but the tale is so hilarious because Dormammu has a lawyer with him that found a loophole in the contract of the Ancient One that had banished Dormammu. Now, Doctor Strange & Wong scramble to hire a lawyer of their own to find a way to send Dormammu back. To do this, they must find something in the contract that will banish Dormammu, which they eventually do when Dormammu breaks a clause. The metaphor in here was that - don't be a blabbermouth when it's all serious business & listen to your lawyer
The Big Deal:
The fifth tale is about a consciousness consuming monster that devours souls & compels them to do his bidding. Because the enemy is too formidable, Doctor Strange does a summoning spell to call upon a force that will help him win this battle. The hero that turns up is Captain America & neither knows the reason why but when the monster & Captain America fight, Captain America wins because of his will & his purpose. This tale has a powerful metaphor that those with weak will & no sense of purpose are wasting away their consciousness and their souls & are simply feeding into systems that will manipulate them. And only those with strong will & strong purpose will defeat the darkest of the monsters.
A powerful, soul stirring book that makes you search for Omens & Personal Legends. Reading this book made me feel like I was with a kindred spirit or like I had discovered or connected with an important part of my destiny.
The tale talks about a shepherd who is searching for a treasure that appeared in his dreams & as he pursues this treasure, he is beaten black & blue, is robbed, lost & is threatened to be killed but he keeps moving in the direction of his quest because it calls out to his Soul. Along the way, he receives Omens & gurus that teach him how to overcome obstacles to reach his treasure, teaching him the process of Alchemy.
This book simply says that when we set out to pursue the treasure that calls out to our Soul, the Universe conspires to help us achieve our quest.
Read this book please. It could change your life.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline reads like a classic 80's science fiction/cyberpunk movie. The book is magical and wondrous, hilarious and brilliantly written, a total page-turner, full of action, epic characters and an engaging plotine that kept me hooked. If you are a kid of 80's, or if you enjoy 80's video games and pop culture, then this book is gold for you.
The main theme of this book resonated with the deepest part of me. At its core, the book is about an orphaned misfit embarking on a quest; a teenager on a treasure hunt - but this is no ordinary book, so the treasure hunt and the quest takes place in a world of virtual reality.
The storyline goes like this: Its the year 2044 and the world is in dire straits, but in an apocalpytic world where reality is so grim, there is one messiah: OASIS, a free online interactive virtual reality world developed by two ingenious video game designers. OASIS has planets, schools, chat rooms and several real world scenarios coded into its virtual world and people simply create avatars and log onto OASIS with special goggles and gloves.
The book opens with the death of the creator of OASIS and his challenge to the world: his gigantic fortune will be inherited by the one who solves a riddle and finds an egg that he has hidden somewhere deep in OASIS. All the world has to do is find three keys that will open three gates that will lead them to the egg. The whole world scrambles and clamors to crack the puzzle. Our protagonist and four other kids cross paths while searching for the egg. As a part of their quest, they are pitched into 80's movies, video games and are battling monsters, risking their lives and managing to stay alive through their wits, intellect and efforts. But the main pain is a corporation that wants to take over OASIS and charge the world a fee and they resort to all kinds of dirty tricks including murder, kidnapping and cheating to win the egg. Our protagonist and his friends have to slug it out with the corporate thugs to win the day.
What I loved about this book is the elaborate world building. Everthing is so well described that I felt like the author was describing something that already existed or something that perhaps the future generation is about to experience. Often times as I read the book I had to remind myself that the characters are actually not on a quest in the real world but in a simulation. It was interestingly mind boggling and fantastic.
Another thing that I found very endearing is the sheer amount of shit pile that the protagonist has to endure and the way he beats the odds. The only way to win the golden egg is to study and research like an obsessed maniac the book that the creator, James Halliday wrote and to be nearly as familiar with 80's video games and pop culture as with breathing. There are so many instances where the protagonist mentions he read this book or that book - 4 times or he practised a particular video game for days, which shows that instead of just making his characters courageous or lucky or talented or special, the author actually makes his characters put in solid efforts through their preparation, kind of like studying intensely for the exam and then taking the exam. It takes the protagonist months and at times a little help to crack the individual pieces of the puzzle. On the whole, our protagonist only has probably a couple of days where everything goes smoothly, where he feels warm and fuzzy, otherwise, on every other day, he is a lone wolf battling it out by himself for days on end.
I was so amused and impressed at how well the author was able to portray the corporate greed as the main villain in this book. It was very well done.
As I was reading this book, very earlier on, I felt like the author was a kindred spirit. There's a particular old fashioned flavor to his ideas: there are no short cuts to the real prize, efforts and studying saves the day. Adventures and quests are life changing. Be brave. Love courageously and fight brilliantly with your intelligence. Better to be a lone wolf than a sell out.
An amazing read. The author did everything right. Props to the author: Ernest Cline. If you are looking to be a writer, this is a great book to study from.
The love for books & a hunger for stories was programmed into my DNA. And, sooner than later, life experiences sealed the deal. Books have saved me, transformed my life, enlightened me and have shown me the path I must walk. In a way, far too many books have played the role of kindred spirits and guides, leading the seeker in me to answers and paving a way for a new way of life. Books have helped me keep my wits, my sense of wonder, my sense of mystery and curiosity & my sanity in a life that has been anything but predictable and normal.