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The Matewix: Utterly Unauthorised, Utterly…

The Matewix: Utterly Unauthorised, Utterly Exploitative, Utterly Silly

by Charles Hamilton-James

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I picked up a small book at a garage sale yesterday, because it looked fun and the price was right, 50 cents. I was wrong, it was a waste of money and time trying to read it. I struggled to finish the first two chapters (page 52 out of 282) then gave up. The subtitle of Charles Hamilton-James' The Matewix promised it would be an "Utterly unauthorized, utterly exploitative, utterly silly" spoof of The Matrix trilogy. Instead of some original fun all I got was a scene by scene reenactment of the Matrix movie with three differences:
  1. Newo (Neo in the original) has several speech impediments
  2. No occasion was missed to make a lewd reference or "enhance" simple objects and actions with sexual overtones. E.g. renaming Trinity to Titty was a softer one of these.
  3. The text was pumped full with pop culture references as if name dropping would improve the quality. Whether I recognized them or not, they were just annoying.

Regarding this last point: earlier this week I was reading a debate online about whether, how, and to what extent should authors of novels include in their works references to contemporary culture. The classicist argument was that it would prevent ever making them timeless, so books that connect to current TV shows could never be great literature, because they would not be fully understood at different places or in the future. The counterargument was running around the line that authors' responsibility is to reflect on the world they live in.
The whole debate was originating from the observation that the use of internet has rarely been featured in mainstream novels, despites millions of people spend hours a day with it. So why didn't it show up n novels yet? I think because it would be a boring narrative: writing about sitting in front a screen doesn't suggest engaging action.
On the other hand this book was chokeful of names of singers, actors, joints, brands... It did more harm than dating the book out of existence in 10 years. It made it irrelevant now. Don't waste time on this one.
  break | Jan 23, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007176902, Hardcover)

An unauthorised, utterly silly spoof of the Matrix, "The Matewix" is an adventure starring the ineffectual computer geek Newo. This book has all the action of the film, or more specifically it's a story of a nerd who couldn't get any action. Our hero has a rather bad speech impediment, which gets him into all sorts of twuble in a world that's not quite what it seems. "'If you take the Red pill, Newo, there is no going back. You will leave the Matewix and enter a world more real to you than you can possibly imagine. But Newo, if you take the Blue pill you will sustain an erection for up to 12 years. You must decide Newo'. Newo stared long and hard at the pills. Then reached out his hand, 'I'll take them both', he said and eagerly gobbled them down whole".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:21 -0400)

Crazy spin on The matrix.

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