the_author() rating onrating onrating onrating onrating half

RACKHAM & CRANE

Improvisatory Letters

By Billy Higgins Peery, author of A Bad Idea

Jul 11, 2015: This is a fun serial. Well, I suppose that only works if your idea of fun is two Britishmen trying to understand the apocalyptic hellscape that their world has become. Usually that wouldn’t be my kind of story, but I’ve got to say, this pulled me in.

The biggest draw for me was actually the format. Whereas epistolary novels can often feel a little played out, his one does something interesting: each of the two characters gets written by a different author. They don’t communicate about the story OOC in any way, which means they’re essentially playing an Improv game.

Back and forth they send letters, expanding the world. They reference things the characters know about, but the authors don’t. And so they create a story somewhat blind, each relying on the wits of the other to flesh things out and make sure it all works.

So far they’re doing well.

If you’re not a nerd for that sort of stuff like I am, there’s still good stuff in here. For instance, the language is an absolute joy. On a pure sentence level, Bruinooge and Chase are some of the best writers writing serials right now (shout-out to the fact that they used the phrase Sotto Voce, to my mind one of the most beautiful ones that language has ever created).

If you love Gothic novels or Lovecraftian horror, I would strongly recommend this. Even if you don’t, there’s a lot of stuff in here you might enjoy.

2 of 2 members found this review helpful.
Help us improve!  Request an invite or log in to rate this review.