Thursday, May 21, 2015

If | Nicholas Bourbaki


If is an experimental novel of ideas. You, the reader, are the nameless protagonist, a young dreamer from northern California. At the end of each chapter, you must make a pivotal decision. These choices shape your identity as the plot and literary form of the novel swerve toward twenty-two possible endings.

I stumbled upon this read on Courtney's blog: CourtneyReads and was intrigued simply by its format. At the end of each chapter, there's a choice. As the main character, the reader has some type of control over the ending of the book, and this, in itself, fascinated me.

However, I will admit, I didn't love this book as much as I hoped to. While I appreciate the difficulty and effort that may have gone into writing this book, the format didn't work as properly as, I think, it should have. Frequently, I would come to the end of a chapter that had no choice, and would continue reading, only to find myself in the midst of a different scene with different characters. And this happened often, often enough that I couldn't finish the book since I wasn't able to extricate and follow any one storyline from the book.

If I have time, I will definitely attempt to try this book again, but it didn't appeal to me as much as I'd hope. Though I don't discourage anyone else from trying out this book. If you've read this book, let me know what you think in the comments below!