Posts tagged with "review"
Review: What the Hell Did I Just Read

Almost ten years ago, someone recommended I read a horror-comedy web serial called John Dies at the End, the opening paragraph of which read: Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt. If you already happen to know the awful secret behind the universe, feel free to skip ahead. About a page later came this exchange: “Dave? This is John. Your pimp says bring the heroin shipment tonight, or he’ll be forced to stick you. Meet him where we...

Review: The Sense of Style

Most writing sucks. Academic writing is dull and turgid, business and political writing is incoherent and stuffed with mostly meaningless jargon, and much journalism is borderline illiterate. The internet, for all that it has done to advance humanity’s knowledge, has also perpetrated the heinous crime of making everyone a writer – and just like most people can’t draw a portrait, assemble an engine, sing an opera or jump a salchow, most people can’t write. In the face of all this bad writing, it’s very easy for people of a certain temperament...

Review: Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

Out of an anal-retentive desire to put as much of my output in a central place under my control, I’ve added and appropriately back-dated a bunch of old book reviews I like and still agree with to this blog. This was going to be one of them, but I ended up expanding it enough that I decided back-dating would be dishonest. Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby, available for free on this lovely domain hack, is the strangest book about programming you’ll ever read, combining instructional...

Review: The House in Fata Morgana

The so-called visual novel is a game format that’s very big in Japan and kind of obscure everywhere else. If you’ve never encountered one, you can think of the genre as computerised puppet theatre with a little bit of audience participation. They tend to be plot-driven affairs with enough gameplay to send a pure ludologist into a frothy rage (i.e. not very much). In the majority of these games, the player’s input is limited to clicking through dialogue and making CYOA-style choices every few thousand words. Some...

Review: Paranatural

Zack Morrison’s Paranatural is a webcomic about a serious-faced young boy who faces schoolyard bullies and paranormal supernatural beings armed with a ghost-possessed baseball bat. It’s also a great source of cartoonishly expressive faces, hence my Twitter profile picture. The comic begins with the aforementioned serious boy – Max – and his family moving into a new home in the picturesque little town where his father grew up. Though Max’s face wears a permanent scowl, the rest of his family – and as will become apparent, most of the...