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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
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