News for May 2013

YOU

by austin grossman

To start off, I must admit that I didn’t even finish the novel. I left the treacherous journey with 20 pages left. I just didn’t care anymore.

To be fair I am not much of a gamer, my interest in gaming goes as far as Mario Kart and 5 hour binges of Tetris for the Nintendo DS. I am not a gamer but I appreciate games, and I appreciate what they’ve done and what could do with story telling. In that sense, I was excited to read this book. Austin Grossman is also the author of Soon I will be in Invincible

The protagonist is named Russel… RUSSEL! Russel is a law school drop out who finds a job at a gaming company called Black Arts that’s founded by his best friends from high school. He took the job because he didn’t have a lot of options left. He took the job even though he did’t know all that much about video games or the process of making video games.

The company that Russel works at is founded by his friends Simon, Darren and Lisa. Sadly Simon died and the company slowly falls apart. Russel goes into the job with bare minimum knowledge and slowly returns to his childhood of video games and video game creation with his friends.

The protagonist is not likable at all and he seems like the type of person that would back stab his friends to get ahead or something. So, it’s pretty hard to like Russel even though the novel tried so hard to portray him as a passionate character. But it’s all fluff and fizz, he didn’t seem to really care and I didn’t care. It seems like the character was trying to find meaning for his own life through the death of his friend and the so called creation of this video game.

So, once that’s on the table it’s pretty hard to go on… I think this could also work in favor of the novel if you made the characters so gross and unlikable that you want to see what happens to them. Russel barely registers even though he’s the narrator. I’m just like, okay whatever, I’m more interested in those tent-like t-shirts that you talked about…

The story chugs along slowly while they decide to continue the franchise that their founder Simon created, but not all goes well obviously.

There’s a lot of details about video game making that the author is well versed with but while it was interesting to learn it was also annoying to read about.

I think the biggest flaw about this book is just that every character is annoying and worse than that, you just don’t care about any of them. I don’t care what happens to Russel, I even find it hard to believe that he’s named Russel.

kind of disappointing.

Posted: May 28th, 2013
Categories: BOOKS
Tags: ,
Comments: No Comments.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

edited and compiled by: Mason Currey

I remember reading his blog: Daily Routines back in the day. The blog was wonderful but it stopped updating a few years ago. I was deeply disappointed but then this book came out! This has to be one of the best blogs turned books, and one of the few ones that have much more content than it does on the blog. Nor does it rely heavily on regurgitated writing or graphics.

It’s a compilation of artists, writers, composers and the daily schedules they kept or not kept to keep their creativity locked in. I loved reading this, every single one of them was so fully interesting in their own way. Unfortunately, I have found a perfect schedule for myself as i lack discipline.

But I highly recommend this read! It’s a great read.

Posted: May 21st, 2013
Categories: BOOKS
Tags: , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

GODS WITHOUT MEN

by Hari Kunzru

I finally got around to reading this book and finishing it. I tried it once before and felt overwhelmed by the beginning. But because I have SO much time at work I decided to try it out again.
The story takes place over many periods in time at a single location called The Pinnacle in the dessert some where near Las Vegas. In the various points in time, different people lived there and crazy things happened. The novel mainly revolves around a jewish woman and a second generation Indian man and their autistic child. They go on a vacation and end up a motel somewhere near the desert and their son disappears. The couple survives through a media frenzy over their lost son but recovers him many months later. Jaz, the father of the son, ends up being paranoid over the recovery and subsequent changes to his son.

Although the story of the lost boy is the main focus of the novel the remaining chapters wove together a complicated story line that spans centuries. To completely honest I don’t full get some of the details and I especially don’t understand the ending. The writing is extremely solid. It was from this novel that I realized the major difference between a seasoned writer and a novice. A seasoned write has a more demure style rather than something flamboyant that a novice would bring about. I am not certain on my observations but when I read something that’s “good” I could feel the weight of the words whereas if I read something by a novice writer the words would seem like they are floating in the air, and they are only kept on the page through by awkward style.

was a full and true book, and for me that’s the highest praise that you can give to any piece of writing.

Posted: May 6th, 2013
Categories: BOOKS
Tags: ,
Comments: No Comments.