Firewatch: Update

Hello, readers!

I hope your week is going well. Mine is. Mostly because I finally got to play Firewatch!

If you remember, I talked about Firewatch for the Destination: Wyoming post. It’s a first person video game from Campo Santo. You play as Henry, working as a lookout at a forest in Wyoming.

The game is gorgeous, full of suspense, and really engaging. There were moments when I’d be waking around bends in the path, heart beating furiously because I didn’t know whether there would be something there.

The developers did a really good job with it. They managed to create suspense with small, subtle elements. Not to mention all the little things, like the fact that you can adopt a turtle. Or the fact that you can take pictures and request for them to be developed!

My only complaint would be that the game is entirely too short. I’d been waiting for it for so long and I finished it in a day and a half. I still say the game is amazing, I just wish there had been more of it to be amazed by!

Have you played Firewatch? What was your experience like? Let me know, readers! Until next time.


Final Thoughts: Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem

What? Monday, already? Time flies when you’re completely unaware of what’s happening. I don’t know. I reserve the right to not make sense on Mondays. That’s a thing, right?

By the way, did you guys see that eclipse last night? That was some pretty nifty stuff. I watched it from my balcony with the parental units, which turned out to be fairly pleasant. Until someone decided to play Marc Anthony for ambiance. What the actual hell, man? I can’t even.

Last week I shared with you my frustrations about reading Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem. This week, I have to say, I’m still fucking frustrated you guys! When I said I was about halfway through, I didn’t realize I was actually nearly done with the novel. Which meant the end came swiftly and without warning, unlike a capital death sentence which takes its sweet time before killing you. What?

Getting back to the subject at hand. You guys, what the hell. I’m so annoyed with this book! I mean, I really liked it which is what is so annoying! I feel like the book ended just as the story was gaining speed. The obsessive part of me just wants to see what happens with the characters now that they’re ACTUALLY doing something. Except, I don’t think that’s what the book is about at all.

It’s not about the life they lead, but rather about all the things they’ve forgotten. About how reality shifts and rearranges around these dreams and the power it takes to break yourself from that pull, that same as everyone else line of thought. It’s also about the consequences of doing your own thing in worlds where by law, everyone is supposed to follow the will of a few. It really is a cool book, even through the vagueness.

Still, I can’t get past the fact that it ends in the middle of what feels like a beginning. I think it would’ve been better if it had ended in a deeper ambiguity, like pushing you deeper into the sea of uncertainty. Instead, the ending is a jolt of certainty that leaves you jonesing for more. It’s a weird feeling, taking off with such purpose and falling flat on your face because the narrative road ended. What the hell, Lethem? Stop giving me complex emotions, geez. Frankly, it’s unnecessary.

Lies. It’s completely necessary and worth it. In any case, read it. You’ll probably enjoy it. (I sound super reliable right now, don’t I?)

Have you ever read Amnesia Moon or anything else by Jonathan Lethem? Did it leave you a befuddled mess as it (clearly) did me? If you’ve read anything else by him, let me know what I should read next!

Stay golden, readers. And stay tuned for my Banned Books post on Wednesday!

Until next time!

Book Introduction: Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem

Well, it’s Wednesday. More commonly known as Hump Day. Also known as the day of the week where everyone’s hopes start to rise because it means they’re halfway through and ever closer to Friday. It’s nice, right? I don’t have a set schedule anymore, so it’s all irrelevant, but I still get excited by Friday’s arrival. Like the remnants of a previous life where I was an actual person with responsibilities… That escalated quickly. Moving on!

As the title says, my pick for Wyoming is Jonathan Lethem’s Amnesia Moon! The books I’ve read so far for this challenge all rely heavily on setting, where it happens is directly related to what happens. This novel isn’t like that, at all. Place is something entirely vague, as is everything else, in this story. Reality has become entangled with dreams to the point where some dreams can become reality, warping the world according to each dreamer’s desires and fears.

Amnesia Moon mostly takes place between a Wyoming desert and a few cities in California. The other places you visit with the characters feel like vague, isolated worlds that try to entrap you within their particular delusion. According to all the characters, “something” happened in the world that changed everything, but no one remembers how long ago it was or what exactly happened. The main character, who goes by Chaos, Moon, Everett depending on where he is, has no recollection of life before “The Break” or any idea of who he is. Regardless of the places he visits,  it’s Wyoming and California that feel the most real to him. Wyoming is where he has the most memories of himself, even if it’s an alternate self, and California is where he feels everything began for him, his past.

So far, I’m about half way through the book. I can’t decide whether I like it or not, but I think that might be because I’m just as frustrated as the characters trying to figure out what happened! Which is good, in a way. The concept of the novel itself is really interesting because we’re always talking about dreams coming true. And they come true in Amnesia Moon, but in a way that limits and almost enslaves, not at all what comes to mind when thinking about the “magic of dreams”.

I’d never read anything by Lethem before, but I think I might pick up other books by him down the road. His style is simple and often funny, but what I like the most is the way he visualizes things. His imagery can be really particular. There are times when I’ve had to stop reading to really imagine what he’s written. Usually, that would be a negative for me because it means you lose your rythm, but in this case I don’t really mind it. Here’s an example:

“The rain had failed to disperse the fog; the house was still isolated, like a figurine in a milky fishbowl.”

It’s not a complex image, but it threw me nonetheless because I kept thinking of myself as a figurine in this opaque fishbowl and what that would feel and look like.

Amnesia Moon hasn’t been what I thought it would be like, but I enjoy what it’s delivered so far. I’m frustrated and partially confused, but it’s exciting almost to feel that way. We’ll see what the ending is like when I reach it!

Do you enjoy books that make you feel frustrated or would you rather read something that makes you feel relaxed and happy? Let me know in the comments below! Stay tuned for my Final Thoughts on Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem.

Keep it cool, readers. Until next time!

Destination: Wyoming

Destination Wyoming

Happy Monday, you guys! Hopefully you’re having a cracking afternoon, but probably not because it’s Monday. I feel your pain fellow sufferers! As you read this I’m probably at work, photographing a cooking class because my boss decided I know something about photography. That actually is quite far from the truth, but she insisted…

We’re in Wyoming! Leave me a comment if you were born in or lived there for any period of time. I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone from the Equality State, as it’s apparently known. It makes sense because it was the first state to give women the right to vote. Four for you Wyoming!

As I was searching for books set in Wyoming, I decided to branch out and see what else was out there. I was met by well known movies like Bridesmaids and Brokeback Mountain. On the other hand, I found some lesser known ones like Cannibal! The Musical. Out of the three I’ve only seen Bridesmaids, which leads me to believe I might be a bit behind on my movie watching….perhaps movie posts are in order? (cue suspense music). Seriously though, a musical about cannibals? It sounds terrible, but also like something I’m dying to watch…

Anyway, strange movies weren’t the only thing I found. I also found a video game in the works that will be set in the Wyoming Wilderness!

Titled Firewatch, the game follows this guy who has recently become a fire lookout. His only connection with the outside world comes in the form of a radio which he uses to keep in touch with his supervisor. Here’s the actual description of the game, taken from the website:

In Firewatch you play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio — and is your only contact with the world you’ve left behind.

But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

Firewatch is a mystery game, so there is definitely a small creepiness factor, but that just makes it all the better for me. This is definitely a game I’m looking forward to playing. The concept of the game seems interesting and the graphics look pretty cool, from what I’ve seen. Mind you I’m not an expert or a professional when it comes to these things, so I can’t give you any specific information about it.

 This is a screenshot taken from the game website. Doesn’t it look pretty?

Unfortunately, Campo Santo, the video game studio working on the game, hasn’t announced a release date. I read somewhere that it was due to come out in 2015, but that doesn’t seem likely. At least we have the trailers!

I was hoping that by some miracle the game would be out by the time we go to Wyoming, but alas, it’s not meant to be. Still, I’m pretty excited for this game to come out. It makes me want to spend hours playing video games, which means I might have to go find another game to play just to satisfy the craving.

What games are you guys playing right now? Any you’re really hooked on? Let me know! I’m always in the lookout for new games. Until next time, readers. Keep it cool!