Drifting in and out of consciousness (oxfordhacker) wrote,
Drifting in and out of consciousness

Review 2: 'The Broken World' by Tim Etchells

Synopsis: This is a 400 page book structured as an unedited walkthrough for fiendishly complicated adventure game, written by a heavy-metal-loving 20-something slacker with a short attention span, sketchy language skills and - literally - a malfunctioning Caps Lock key. He writes in a stream-of-consciousness style, incorporating glimpses of his life, sometimes attempting to draw parallels with the game in a bid to illuminate one or the other.

Review: From the central conceit, I expected it to be an artfully post-modern blurring of the boundaries between game and reality, or unreadably horrible. In fact it's neither, just a sweet book that reads very much like it's from the Young Adult section. There are no SF elements (except for some aspects of the game) and not much in the way of action (even the in-game fights are mostly described obliquely). It's a challenge to review, because although I actually rather liked it, I find it hard to explain why it wasn't as tooth-grindingly ghastly as it sounds. I'd certainly recommend that you read a few pages before purchasing, in case your tolerance is differently calibrated. I can at least reassure you that it is mercifully free from 1337 or txt spk, and the plausibly patchy grammar and spelling didn't set my pedant sense tingling, perhaps because they're clearly to establish character. Well worth a try, not least because I'd love to hear someone else's take on it...

My pull quotes for the next edition:

Sure to 'pwn' the best-seller lists!
This year's most moving walkthrough!

Illustrative excerpt from Amazon reviews:
If you like the idea of reading the diary of a boring nerd, then go ahead this is perfect.
Tags: books, reading week, reviews
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