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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review LARP: The Battle for Verona by Justin Calderone Virtual Book Tour

“I think we act the way we see ourselves, whether our reality is true or not, […]”

I have some very good things to say about LARP and some not so much, but drawing the line, pluses are much more.

First of all, I want to point that I had a great pleasure to find, from the first pages, figures of speech. Rarely in new books and I say it is pity.

“The bright sun shone upon the meadow, illuminating the droplets of dew on the grass, as if liquid silver had rained down during the night.”

The novel gives life lessons and I would have liked more if those were the result of events and not only offered directly. But they are important enough to overlook that. The book is about what you have to do and what you have to decide, what you want to do, what people expect you to do, what you think you should do.

“Every day, these people had to live by society’s rules. They had to act a certain way, dress a certain way, and, oftentimes, couldn’t talk freely about their hobby because most people either didn’t understand it, or thought it was ridiculous.”

It is about how adolescent friendships evolve as time goes by, how it changes you and how your evolution changes the relationship and how you’ll should react.

“Mark was always looking backward, and, lately, Dennis was always looking forward, with Freddy stuck in the middle.”


Everything is so well constructed that you have the impression that you're in the middle of the action, in the first line. The author always manages to make the reader feel what the characters live: frustration, desires, regrets, concern and fear for those are trapped, battle rage, passion.

I liked it both, the "motivational speech" of the Governor and how the LARPers, each with different skills and trades and even inappropriate for the purpose, decide to be part of Mark’s plan along with Dennis, Fred and Jen, though they had no real reason to do so. But people can surprise you sometimes.

“The sun ricocheted off of each piece of faux metal, duct tape, and fiberglass, giving the LARPers an otherworldly glow. The flags from each kingdom proudly waved, welcoming their fellow warriors.”

And there is a touch of color of some well-placed humor.

“Every time I talk to you, I lose a few points off my IQ,”


Of the few negative aspects I would remember just how facile it’s everything resolved. At one point I thought that the opportunity for the characters to "find" themselves is doomed to be lost. In the ending, the author recovers the situation and only the villain’s motivation remains somehow in the air.

Despite I think that the ending is a bit unlikely (in respect to Dennis life, which has no merit here whatsoever) and that I would have liked him to find someone else to be with, I cannot say that I didn’t read it with pleasure.

Perhaps my enjoyment came also from the fact that many times the author views are mine too.

“But this whole […] made me realize something . . . you can’t live in the past, and the future isn’t for sure. All we have is now. I’ve spent too much time wishing and thinking about how my life could have or should have been different. And it’s been a waste of time. I am where I’m supposed to be.” 

Romanian:
“I think we act the way we see ourselves, whether our reality is true or not, […]

Am câteva lucruri foarte bune de spus despre LARP şi unele nu chiar aşa de bune. Dar trăgând linie, plusurile sunt mult mai multe.

În primul rând, vreau să subliniez faptul că mi-a făcut o deosebită plăcere să găsesc, încă de la prima pagină, figuri de stil. Mai rar în cărțile noi şi zic că e păcat.

“The bright sun shone upon the meadow, illuminating the droplets of dew on the grass, as if liquid silver had rained down during the night.”

Romanul dă lecții de viață şi aş fi preferat ca acestea să fie rezultatul întâmplărilor şi nu doar oferite direct. Dar sunt suficient de importante încât să trecem cu vederea. Cartea vorbeşte despre ceea ce trebuie să faci şi ceea ce trebuie să decizi, ceea ce vrei să faci, ce se aşteaptă lumea să faci, ce crezi că ar trebui să faci.

Every day, these people had to live by society’s rules. They had to act a certain way, dress a certain way, and, oftentimes, couldn’t talk freely about their hobby because most people either didn’t understand it, or thought it was ridiculous.”

Este vorba şi despre modul cum evoluează prieteniile adolescenței pe măsură ce timpul trece; despre cum te schimbă şi cum schimbă relația evoluția ta şi de cum ar trebui să reacționezi.

“Mark was always looking backward, and, lately, Dennis was always looking forward, with Freddy stuck in the middle.”

Totul e atât de bine e construit, încât ai impresia că eşti în mijlocul acțiunii, în prima linie. Autorul reuşeşte de fiecare dată să facă cititorul să SIMTĂ ceea ce trăiesc personajele: frustrarea, dorințele, regretele, grija şi frica pentru cei prinşi în capcană, furia luptei, pasiunea.

Mi-a plăcut atât „discursul motivațional” al guvernatorului, cât şi modul în care Larp-rii, fiecare cu meserii şi aptitudini diferite şi poate nepotrivite, decid să fie parte din planul lui Mark, alături de Dennis, Fredie şi Jen, deşi nu aveau niciun motiv real să o facă. Dar oamenii pot uimi câteodată.

“The sun ricocheted off of each piece of faux metal, duct tape, and fiberglass, giving the LARPers an otherworldly glow. The flags from each kingdom proudly waved, welcoming their fellow warriors.”

Şi ca o tuşă de culoare există şi ceva umor bine plasat.

“Every time I talk to you, I lose a few points off my IQ,”

Din cele câteva aspecte negative aş aminti doar modul facil în care se rezolvă totul. La un moment dat am crezut că ocazia personajelor de a se „regăsi” este una sortită a fi pierdută. În final, autorul redresează situația şi doar motivația personajului negativ rămâne oarecum în aer.

În ciuda faptului că eu consider cam improbabil modul în care se termină totul (şi mă refer la viața lui Dennis care nu are niciun merit aici) şi că mi-ar fi plăcut ca el să descopere pe altcineva care i-a fost alături, nu pot spune că nu am citit-o cu plăcere.

Poate plăcerea mea a venit şi din faptul că părerile autorului să fie de multe ori şi ale mele.

“But this whole […] made me realize something . . . you can’t live in the past, and the future isn’t for sure. All we have is now. I’ve spent too much time wishing and thinking about how my life could have or should have been different. And it’s been a waste of time. I am where I’m supposed to be.” 

To see the tour schedule, please, click here

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