The Globe and Mail ran an Opinion piece today in which I explain some of the rationale for my book The Far Shore, and provide a kind of summary of it. Even though 2000 words is a lot for a newspaper piece, it was tricky to fit in everything I wanted to say. But I’m pretty happy with what I came up with — and obviously I’m delighted to be the first person ever to cite Pierre Bourdieu in a Globe editorial. (If you can disprove me, please be in touch!)
In other exciting Far Shore news — I have a review! As I discuss at length in The Far Shore, one of the differences between games and books is that games get tons of reviews and books hardly get any (indeed, my last book, Literature in the Digital Age still hasn’t gotten a proper review, as far as I know). So I am deeply grateful to have one — and for it to be such a good one!
The review — titled “The Subtle Art of Selling Out” — is by Steven Beattie, former reviews editor of Quill & Quire, for his website That Shakespearean Rag. It’s not just that it’s a positive review, which it is. It’s that it’s so smart and takes the book so seriously. When I reviewed Andrew Piper’s Book Was There for Literary Review of Canada way back when, he wrote me a really nice email thanking me for helping him to better understand what he had written — for “projecting his project back to him,” is I think how he put it. I feel exactly the same way about Steven’s review! Here’s my favourite bit — the last paragraph.
In The Far Shore, Hammond has created something that is as unclassifiable as his favourite works of modernism: part biography of an iconoclastic and brilliant game designer, part cultural critique, part hipster manifesto. One doesn’t always have to agree with him – he is no more correct than Bangs was that “the DIY ethic of punk” renders a lack of technical proficiency forgivable – to appreciate the thought that went into his text or to marvel at the diligence and perseverance required to see a project as ambitious as JETT through to completion. Any book that is equally comfortable parsing the abstruse theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and the music of Bikini Kill is worth the price of admission.Steven Beattie, That Shakespearean Rag