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My Breakfast With Descartes

By Rhodeworks, author of Not All Heroes

Mar 8, 2018: The title of this work says it all, really. Over breakfast, a character named Malcolm grapples with all the classic existentialist quandaries. Do we have free will? Has everything in the history of the universe been leading to this moment? Is our awareness a curse? Does how we conceive of things form a prison around us? Can I trust my perceptions? And so on and so on.

There’s a tight style here, reminiscent of Hitchhiker’s Guide or The Stanley Parable. It felt, however, slightly imitative. I found the simple tension of the various countdowns wonderfully effective, especially when combined with Malcolm’s state of mind. The writing is technically strong, but a repeated use of ‘it’s’ instead of the correct ‘its’ stuck out to me. I never had to find myself fighting the prose or doubling back to see if I had missed anything, however.

It’s an interesting, different concept. However, by Part 20, I was finding it harder and harder to continue, feeling that the concept may have overstayed its welcome and mined out just about all the entertainment it could get. As wonderful as the concept is, it is somewhat limiting.

The strangest feeling that ETaB gave me was that it might be better suited as some kind of webcomic. I feel a more visual medium could be wonderfully evocative.

With that said, however, I’d still recommend checking it out.

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