To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Monday, July 27, 2015
The Wayward Bus
Hey, Steinbeck for my 600th blog post. Classy. This is a Steinbeck novel I'd never read. I found a first edition of it somewhere, and picked it up out of curiosity. I'd come to regard the lesser known Steinbeck novels with a kind of uncertainty, since finding In Dubious Battle somewhat disappointing. But maybe you had to be there. Anyway, this was a different kettle of fish, and I enjoyed it a great deal. It is a very simple, intimate novel, about a group of strangers on a bus that gets waylaid. I've never seen Steinbeck get quite this close with his characters in such an even handed manner. All of them were interesting, and each was appealing and repulsive in their own way. The series of events is clear and understandable, and not at all sensationalist, but there remains engaging tension throughout. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. A more dramatic ending might have made this one of his better known novels -- but it wouldn't have been true to the characters or the story, I think. Victor Hugo's saying that "The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved—loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves," I think is apt for this story. I feel like I might read it again someday.
Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games (www.schellgames.com), the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses (www.artofgamedesign.com), and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association (www.igda.org). In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.
Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online. Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. You can email him at jesse(at)schellgames.com.