I often ponder over the many mistakes I’ve made in my short(-ish) life. It would be very nice to have the power to “flip” back a few pages and maybe choose to go to art school instead of getting that journalism degree. Or, maybe go back further and choose to not stick my hand past the zoo fence so as to try and feed the wild monkeys a little piece of bread. Yup. Regrets. I’ve had a few… However; sometimes the choices we make can lead to some cool stuff. Like, when Chudd and I choose to start our own blog which (after awhile) led to me writing a review for possibly the best book I’ve read all year! A book, who’s entire premise, are the choices you/me (the reader) make.
Titan Books has recently re-released Kim Newman’s 1999 dark adult role-playing novel, Life’s Lottery! It is a very big Choose your own adventure story. In Life’s Lottery you are English born Keith Oliver Marion, and from the moment of birth, Newman takes you through a life while presenting choices that can vastly change the stories end. Sometimes the choices are innocuous, but they’re results can put you in jail, have you stabbed to death, or put you in the middle of something very bizarre. It’s incredible how many times you can go back to a key point, or even a not so key point, and then be led to a different life. Newman’s story shows us that things like conformity, will, or even dumb stupid luck, can have profound effects on our present selves.
Of course being a Kim Newman novel it is also filled with an endless stream of pop-culture references. There’s even an appendix at the back of the book for each throw back featured in each section. Pretty cool for us pop-culture junkies who grew up with the Batman t.v. show and Betamax video players. All the same though, it’s Newman’s writing that pulls you deeper into the story. The entire book (I think) is written in a 2nd person progressive. Which is a unique and interesting way for someone to read a narrative and then get to decide on the path the future narrative will take. Overall, I had fun with this book, and it’s also the reason why I’m way behind on many of the other books I want to read and review. Life’s Lottery is dark and haunting, but one in which you will want to read again for a whole new story!
Life’s Lottery is available at all major book sellers or you can get your copy on line at Titanbooks.com!