Kill the Whale!-- Part 5

“Inferno” is now a video game, with a brawny, armor-clad Dante as its protagonist…The game’s creators say there’s an audience for it. Their research showed that most people had heard of “Inferno” but few knew what it was about. This, they say, gave them license to make a few improvements.
     — The New York Times
 
 
PYNCHON'S "GRAVITY’S RAINBOW": THE VIDEO GAME

TAGLINES: "Screaming lead came across the sky!" "Schmutzen nicht mit dem Raketemensch!” (Don’t mess with Rocketman!)
 
CHARACTER: You’re  Tyrone Slothrop, a randy U.S. Army lieutenant stationed in London toward the end of World War II.  Somebody’s stole your penis—or at least tampered with it. Somebody's gonna pay.  


MISSION: Fight your way across a war-torn Europe that anticipates the rise of American global hegemony. Don’t let anything stand in your way—Nazis, collaborators, narrative logic. "Inglorious Basterds" has nothing on you!
 
WEAPONS: Paranoia, conspiracy theories, V-2 rockets.
 
POWER-UPS:  Silly songs, "knee tremblers,"  kazoos. (Note: look for spinoff Kazoo Hero in stores this Christmas!)
 
BOSS DEMON: Pynchon himself, breaking the fourth wall. Tip: remove the brown paper bag from over his head to deplete his power.
 
HIDDEN LEVEL: The ending Pynchon declined to write. Tip: it was all a dream brought on by too many hallucinogens.
 
CHEAT CODE. Ctrl-H unlocks stash of hashish hidden at the Potsdam conference.
 
SOUNDTRACK: "The Flight of the Valkyries," by Richard Wagner; "Der Fuehrer’s Face," by Spike Jones; "Heroes," by David Bowie.
 
RATING: P for Post-modern.

 

And look for GEORGE ORWELL'S ANIMAL FARMVILLE coming soon to Facebook ("Four legs good, two legs dead meat!") 

 


Robert Brenner is a humorist, critic, and ventriloquist. His work has been published in New York Magazine, Open Salon (open.salon.com/blog/robert_brenner), and Happy. 

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.