08 May Fans of Bandersnatch
Netflix ended 2018 with two science fiction knockouts: “Bird Box” and “Bandersnatch”. While “Bird Box”‘s fame came out of its immediate popularity in meems, “Bandersnatch” was put out by Netflix’s highly popular “Black Mirror” series. If you are unfamiliar with this brand, “Black Mirror” is more or less a contemporary “Twilight Zone” where viewers can watch half a show before a plot twist brings them staggering to the edge of their seats. “Bandersnatch” is a choose-your-own-adventure movie where viewers are asked anything from as mundane as which sugary cereal the main character should have for breakfast, to if he should accept a job or stay true to his dream. Will you accept or reject?
In this choose-your-own-adventure film, the main character is creating a choose-your-own-adventure game based on his favorite choose-your-own-adventure-book: Bandersnatch. To the groans of many library customers who wanted to read the book, you can’t: it’s made up.
But you can check out these read-alikes. Depending on the adventure you choose, “Bandersnatch” could be science fiction, horror, psychological thriller, or metafiction. The La Porte County Public Library has these titles that will satisfy the crestfallen Bandersnatch fan.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.
Genre: Experimental fiction; Horror
Description: A family relocates to a small house on Ash Tree Lane and discovers that the inside of their new home seems to be without boundaries.
The Peripheral by William Gibson.
Genre: Cyberpunk; Parallel narratives; Science fiction
Description: Whenever she can, gamer Flynne Fisher tries to help her brother Burton, a disabled veteran. So when Burton asks her to beta-test a virtual reality game as part of his lucrative but illegal part-time job, Flynne agrees to sub in. During her shift, Flynne witnesses a murder and soon realizes that she’s not playing a game, she’s seeing the future. But how? Cutting-edge technology and crossed time lines create an intricately plotted and thought-provoking science fiction story that slowly builds suspense through parallel, yet intersecting, narratives.
The Making of Zombie Wars by Aleksandar Hemon.
Genre: Satirical fiction
Description: Josh Levin is an aspiring screenwriter teaching ESL classes in Chicago. His laptop is full of ideas, but the only one to really take root is Zombie Wars. When Josh comes home to discover his landlord, an unhinged army vet, rifling through his dirty laundry, he decides to move in with his girlfriend, Kimmy. It’s domestic bliss for a moment, but Josh becomes entangled with a student, a Bosnian woman named Ana, whose husband is jealous and violent. Disaster ensues, and as Josh’s choices move from silly to profoundly absurd, The Making of Zombie Wars takes on real consequence.
The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
Genre: Science fiction; Science fiction mysteries
Description: Time-travel secret agent Shannon Moss visits future time periods for clues about a Navy SEAL astronaut’s murdered family and the disappearance of his teenage daughter, a case that is complicated by the SEAL’s–and Shannon’s–own impact on the timeline.
For more read-alike suggestions, or to learn more about your tastes as a media consumer, you can visit NovelList Plus. For more books like Netflix’s “Bandersnatch,” you can search by:
Genres: Plot-your-own stories, Alternative histories, Experimental fiction, Metafiction
Themes: Fixing history, Time loop, Unreliable narrator
Appeals: Intricately plotted, Unconventional, Stylistically complex
For help with this library resources, or to get more help with what to read next, feel free to visit any of our seven locations, go to laportelibrary.org or call (219) 362-6156 to talk to a librarian.