Monday, January 07, 2013

Do the Choose Your Own Adventure Books Still Hold Up?

That's the question posed by the AV Club.

From the story...

In a sense, The Cave Of Time was the perfect way to launch CYOA. Most subsequent volumes focused on a single tableau: outer space, Greek mythology, the Old West. The Cave Of Time encompasses many of these, in effect serving as a teaser of what was to come. Reading the book now, it’s amazing how perfectly Packard nailed the format and parameters of the series—enough so that he was able to farm out most future installments to various writers-for-hire. Just as the seeds of possibility are planted in the first scene of every CYOA book, so was the series’ potential planted in the first book.

That didn’t help me get through The Cave Of Time this time around, though. Increasingly agitated by second-person voice—not to mention the fact that I’m being told not just what to do, but how I think and feel as I react to meeting Abraham Lincoln or being press-ganged into helping build The Great Wall Of China—I started looking for “The End” at the bottoms of pages. One thing struck me as I skimmed through the dozens of conclusions that Packard lays out: He’s a sadistic bastard.

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