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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Choose Your Own Adventure

I discovered on the web that the Choose Your Own Adventure series of novels is now back in print. I loved these books as a kid; this image on a website dedicated to the originals was like a tea-soaked madeleine to me (the new editions have fancy new cover art). I can remember vividly reading this book in my fifth-grade classroom, probably in between writing a short story in which I was transported into my favorite video game, Zaxxon (that game ruled, and yes, I'm sure I had just seen Tron), and exchanging hints for Infocom games with my classmates. (Shockingly, I became an academic.) I don't know why this image stuck in my head; I know I read many of the other ones, but scanning through the covers, I have some vague memories of the titles, but not the cover art. I have no idea what this story is about--spies and, apparently, a whale, and I think that little Boris-looking guy in the bottom left is a Russki. Sadly, it seems this book is not one of the ones being reprinted, perhaps because, as the creator of the fan site writes, "This book has a rather dated and uninvolving story, but it's not all that bad."

Part of me wants to read some of them again, but the last time I tried that was with Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, another childhood favorite, and that was a serious error in judgment. Completely ruined some great memories. So maybe I'll just leave these books where they belong, in the deep recesses of personal time. Infocom games, on the other hand, are just as fun now as they were then.

I'll just never love reading Renaissance literature the way I loved reading these books at age 10. I think it's because, when I'm reading Spenser or Shakespeare, I am not "the star of the story!"

 Scribble some marginalia

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