It’s perhaps a cliché to describe a book as unlike anything you’ve ever read; it suggests a laziness on the part of the reviewer. But in the example of Max Porter’s Grief Is The Thing With Feathers I’m genuinely struggling to find an adequate point of comparison through which to describe it. Part prose and part poetry, this text tells the simple story of a family after the matriarch dies. This incident is explored through three first person perspectives: the ‘Dad’ who lost his wife; the ‘Boys’ who lost their mother; and a giant ‘Crow’ who has come to help them mourn.
Both sides of the Atlantic we love a sex scandal involving a politician or public figure; after all, the Keith Vaz cocaine fuelled prostitute bender seemed to run for weeks in the British red-tops. But when the figure involved is named Weiner? Well that’s comedy gold so potent it almost doesn’t seem real. It’s a Two Ronnies sketch somehow come to life. It instantly becomes the most important news story at the time and thus demands to be documented.
This is the astonishing real story that Weiner attempts to document. Well to be more accurate it picks up after the scandal: Anthony Weiner, a rising star in the Democrat Party and 7 time congressman, who had to resign in disgrace following a sexting scandal in 2011. This documentary starts in 2013, with Weiner himself inviting the filmmakers into his life because he “doesn’t want to just be a punchline.” He’s running to be mayor of New York City and is co-opting the film as propaganda for both his political career as well as his personal image – he wants to be something more than the bloke with the funny name who sent explicit photos to several women.
This has given me an interesting idea: In this post, I will be discussing exactly why I hold these games in such high regard through a discussion of their narratives as I remember them. I’ll then go play through the collection, as comprehensive as I can, and then return to these ideas and see whether these three games are as brilliant as I remember or whether I was just looking back through rose tinted goggles.
[obviously, spoilers for the entire series after this point]