Discussion! ‘The Maze Runner’: Coming Late to the Party

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When I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy last week, I saw a trailer for a movie that I didn’t know I wanted to see:

The Maze Runner story has been available to readers as a novel for over five years, with the first volume of the already-finished trilogy of YA books having been released almost 5 years ago.  It has sold very well (a cursory search didn’t turn up any sales figures, but Amazon.com still has it listed among its bestsellers), and has generated a great deal of conversation and excitement among its fan base, a fairly sizable online community of readers not unlike the group that elevated The Hunger Games to its lofty place in mass culture.

Maze Runner Book

If movie trailers are supposed to generate excitement and encourage people to plan to buy tickets at the theater, I’d consider THE MAZE RUNNER trailer demonstrably successful.

After seeing the impressive-looking and excitement-generating trailer, I did a little research into the narrative universe, and ever wary of spoilers, mostly focused my attention on the critical acclaim the The Maze Runner earned, most notably ‘Best of the Year’ awards from Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association.  It holds at least as many bestseller distinctions as The Hunger Games (my quick search turned up some conflicting reports on this score), but was only given approximately half the budget for its first-volume film adaptation.

After seeing the trailer, I updated the Backlog appropriately, as I had become instantly intrigued (especially at 0:49, when we get a panoramic glimpse of what appears to be the maze itself) and would very much like to see the movie in a fairly lean-looking autumn of imaginative releases.  The critical and popular acclaim the book has gotten has likewise prompted me to set some time and money aside in the next month to read its modest 384-page length.

If nothing else, if I find the book to be a poor-man’s Hunger Games or the movie a low-budget flop akin to the disaster that was the Eragon adaptation, I’ll at least have gained an appreciation for just how powerful a well-edited trailer can be on affecting how we spend our time and money.

I’ll review both as I clear them from the pile, so stay with us here at the Unending Backlog!

– Vandal

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