Doom and Obscurity @ BYOB Party in November 2017 (Part 1)

The BYOB Paty session was kicked off with a book called Masters of Doom by David Kushner. Doom and Quake were successful gaming franchises that John Carmack and John Romero, two gaming mavericks, had created. The book outlines the stories behind these creators and the pre-gaming days when computer games were not considered art forms. It was the founders of Doom who pioneered the parallel scrolling method in computers that have changed the interface of games from what it used to be. Akshay enjoyed listening to the book. He recommends audiobooks as they are great when it comes to avoiding the screen and doing automatic chores at once. “It takes a bit of practice but listening to an audiobook can actually take out the monotony of daily tasks,” he said.

Varun wasn’t so sure about Stoner by John Williams. The story seemed pedestrian in potential as he already knew that it was the story of an ordinary guy with a boring life who died in the end. But what he didn’t expect was the way the sentences flowed. William has a very pared-down style of writing. “Everything is stripped down to its bare basics,” Varun said, “The book is so beautiful it’s hard to describe. What you are left with is the feeling that all lonely people live lives full of significance and sorrows too. The book strangely does not leave you feeling sad. You only feel satisfied.”

The book had been forgotten almost but after a French translation caught on, it revived in 2013 suddenly, forty-eight years after the author’s death- a classic case of the obscure author getting the fame he deserves posthumously.

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