Thanks for joining us! We are a monthly subscription that provide a new forms of literature available right through our website to spice up the class ‘book club’ membership. Here you can join many other literature hungry individuals as you explore themes, motifs, and storytelling through many digital mediums such as eBooks, podcasts, films, TV series, video-games, and more. Each month we put out a new literature piece for discussion and we encourage you to join our members in binging the content, and then joining our interactive review forums on this site to post your opinion! At the end of the month we post the top positive and negative reviews of the monthly piece and have a final ‘Hit’ or ‘Pass’ poll to get an overall picture of where our literature enthusiasts stand.
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Life is Strange is an interactive videogame that explores the life of a not so normal teenager in a small town full of mystery and surprises.
If you are a subscriber, get your free download here: Life is Strange
Below is a quick sneak peak at what is in store. Let’s start game binging!
The game revives the nostalgic elements of teenage conflict, both external and internal, in an exciting, mystical mystery. The storytelling aspects of the cut scene narratives makes the actual game play more entertaining. Having an interactive narrative that actually uses good storytelling tactics such as cliffhangers and foreshadowing makes it similar to reading a really good novel but become one of the characters as well. Using Max’s powers to rewind time also made for a more interesting gaming experience by allowing the player to repeat key dialog or action choices to see how things may play out. The concept of time is explored in a fun way that the player must learn to master in order to advance to each episode. Overall, I would definitely recommend this game, even to gaming beginners, due to its charming narrative and the interesting moral dilemmas that it presents throughout the series.
Imagine being thrown into a world where you are told that your choices matter, but in the end it only comes down to one final choice that determines the course of the rest of your life. That is Life is Strange in a quick synopsis. The whole point of a gaming narrative, in my opinion, is to have an impact on how the story progresses. In Life is Strange, seemingly huge choices, such as whether or not you save Kate, end up not having much of an impact on what you see as the main character, Max. The only changes that come out of this are small scenes that generally don’t contribute to the mystery at hand. Spoiler alert: the game comes down to the decision of whether to save Chloe or to save Arcadia Bay, regardless of the decisions you make beforehand. In a way, this singular decision diminishes the thought that went into the making of the mystery narrative.
This month’s literature pick is the S-Town Podcast! This is an investigative piece by Brian Reed on a small town in Alabama and the people that live there.
Subscribers can start binge-listening here:
This podcast is a lot more than just an investigation of the crime and secrets of a small southern town. S-Town opens up a touching narrative about a paranoid, depressed man named John B. McLemore. We as the listeners get to discover the world through the eyes of an lost yet intellectually creative man who struggles with his self-identity and relationships with others. Reed does a great job at trying to understand the live that John had lived and give us insight on someone you wouldn’t normally hear or even pay attention to if you were presented the narrative as a true character study. I highly suggest you take the time to listen to the podcast and give special attention to the interviews and how each individual presents themselves differently.
This is investigative journalism done wrong. Reed, a professional in the field, should have known this podcast had crossed the line into intrusive territory. The main basis of S-Town is to explore the lives of the people in this small town and how they are all tied to the seemingly negative aspects of the town’s corruption. While I appreciate the actual narrative itself, I feel that this information is shaping public images of real people in ways that holds too much power to the storyteller. As a non-fiction piece, this literature greatly affects real lives. As just an example, many people admitted to or alluded to crimes they had done that can greatly change public perception of them as an individual and lead to legal troubles. I also feel that the decisions to share private information about John, such as his sexuality, should not have been shared even if he has passed. It is journalistic integrity to realize that you still need permission from the individual, even if it hurts the narrative, the actual podcast in this situation.
This month’s literature piece is the Russian Doll television series! This is a groundhog day based narrative with some plot twists along the way that test the limits of time.
Subscribers can download the series here: Russian Doll
Below is a trailer for what’s in store:
Russian Doll does an amazing job at doing exactly what a Russian Doll does, revealing new layers with new secrets with each cycle of the same day. Russian Doll does more to explore the moral investigation of oneself in the groundhog day format by intertwining two individuals that both balance each other out with their personalities, but also literally rely on each other to stabilize time. To make the show enterataining, the narrative uses comedic timing to space out the dark mental intstabilities it covers with both Nadia and Alan. I would definitely recommend this show solely for the beautiful way it approaches the character development of the two ‘subjects’. I would describe this show as the sophisticated groundhog day.
Looking for just another spin on an overused plot arc? Then check this series out. I on the other hand, can no longer enjoy another groundhog day centered storyline. The fact that both of the main characters, Nadia and Alan, have to confront their past and internal struggles is not special enough to differentiate this narrative from similar ones. The repetitive nature of the premise of the show itself makes it hard to continuously watch without losing interest over time. Although some interesting gaming elements are put into place, these more interesting arcs are never fully developed or explained.
This month’s literature piece is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern in audiobook format. A movie version is also in the works!
Subscribers can listen right here:
The Night Circus sweeps the reader away into a fantasy world in a seemingly effortless fashion. Morgenstern does an amazing job of transporting the reading into this alternate reality, continuously keeping the whimsical atmosphere of the night circus in every chapter. The beautiful imagery make the novel a joyful read. The descriptive scenery and majestical subplots add to the sweet fairy tale nature of the book, minus some darker moments at the end of the novel. I would definitely recommend this book. Go give it a read!
Do not go into listening to the audiobook with the expectation of experiencing a adventurous or conflict dual like the common sorcery narratives. What it lacks is exactly what would make it more engaging. The overlapping narratives from different points of view seemed to be going well until it all became too convoluted. The actual magic duel is dragged out and there isn’t much conflict. In addition, not that much makes the narrative stand out from other magic centered duals. I would pass on reading this one.
This month’s literary pick is Stranger Than Fiction. For this month, we are looking at both the film and it’s screenplay.
Download the movie and the screenplay using this link: Stranger Than Fiction
Here is a trailer for a sneak peak:
Stranger Than Fiction follows an interesting plot about a character fighting to save himself from being killed by his author. The merge of fiction versus reality makes a great storyline from a literary perspective. The movie opens up a discussion about death from a new angle I haven’t seen before. The movie, but more noticeably in the screenplay, emphasized the role of time to keep regularity in check for Harold Crick. I love how the narrative centers on a very controlling individual who has to learn to un-restrain himself in his self-identity and his relationships in order to truly live life. I would suggest for anyone to watch this heartwarming film.
For covering some dark and deep subjects this film suppresses its philosophical elements for comedic timing. This movie’s sentimental aspects overshadow what could be a very interesting take on the meaning of a singular persons life versus the impact an inspirational story can have on the world. In addition, the acting falls short when comparing the film to the screenplay itself. Seeing it from this perspective, I feel a lot more could be done with the supporting character and the author herself. If the main topic the movie were to address was the inevitability of death and its societal consequences, I feel it would have been more impactful if Harold would have been killed by the end of his narrative. When it comes down to whether or not I would recommend this film, I say skip it.
This month’s literature piece is the novel Pierre; or, The Ambiguities by Herman Melville. This 19th century narrative follows Pierre in a melodramatic storyline.
Subscriber can download the ebook here: Pierre; or, The Ambiguities
Pierre is an unique novel that is best appreciated through its literary references and its beautifully descriptive nature. The plot follows a lost man named Pierre that reunites his long lost sister in a melodramatic narrative. The beauty of the novel is in its title, the ambiguity resembles Pierre and his struggles within himself and finding his place. Many psychological questions are put up for discussion in an interesting monologue format by Pierre which differentiates the novel from just being a dramatic tragedy story. I would recommend this novel to anyone that appreciates pretty imagery and is down for a nice, long read. Go into it knowing that its beauty is in the prose.
This novel tells a story that could be summarized in a single chapter. The lengthy imagery distracts from any point or message of the narrative and makes it confusing and hard to read. Melville doesn’t use any foreshadowing tactics or connects any of his off topic “rants” concerning Pierre’s thoughts. Pierre tries to be too many things at once, and while the interesting takes on 19th century romanticism and overall authorship trends is interesting, it is put together in a way that is ultimately distracting. would pass on Pierre and stick to Moby Dick if you want to experience Melville’s writing.