Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Skeleton Creek

There are a lot of ways to think of the term "performance." Of course there's the very traditional paradigm, with a stage and lights and an audience and things. Broadway, the Theatre, plays, musicals, and all that kind of thing.

There are a lot of other ways to look at it too, though. Performance art, for starters, which tends to include installation art (which is usually friggin' awesome). Devised theater, technology as performance. In my 301 class, we had a unit where we talked about things like lonelygirl15 and blogging as performance.

Technology in terms of performance and presentation is very interesting to me. It's a completely new way of displaying yourself; for once, you pretty much have total control of how the world sees and knows you. And one of the most fascinating aspects of it all is the way you can use technology these days to play with and blend mediums.

This brings me to the title of this blog post, Skeleton Creek. Skeleton Creek is a book I discovered through one of the reference librarians at the library where I used to work. The premise is fairly straightforward: Sarah and Ryan are best friends who frequently get themselves into trouble. Their latest escapade is an exploration of a creepy abandoned structure right outside of town, called the Dredge. During this midnight adventure, Ryan fell and broke his leg. This book starts right after that. The book is in the format of Ryan's diary, and it tells about how he and Sarah work together to uncover the mystery of the Dredge. Ryan writes down everything he can, and Sarah chronicles it all in video format.

Here's the fun thing: You can watch the videos.

Every time Sarah sends Ryan a video, he writes down the password to the website where she posts them. Which you, as the reader, can use to watch them.
Let me tell you, friends, the videos add a new, exciting, and really creepy element to what would otherwise be a very thrilling book. It's full of danger and suspense, and thank goodness the sequel is out because the first book leaves off on a completely ridiculous cliffhanger. I got to the point as I watched the videos that I had to have classical music playing in the background, just to keep from freaking myself out too much.

If you're interested in exploring different types of performance, or if you like scary Young Adult fiction (I'd say it's about a middle school range), PLEASE check it out. Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman.

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