Pry: Digital Literature at it’s Best

Title:  Pry, A Novella

Authors:  Danny Camnizzaro,  Samantha Gorman

Format:  iOS App

Review by Keegan Ragan

Pry by Danny Camnizzaro and Samantha Gorman isn’t what you would expect from a typical e-book. Instead of what is simply a book copied onto your device, Pry is a much more dynamic approach towards the emerging e-literature genre. It expects the reader not only to read, as is expected in most literature, but to also dig for what isn’t immediately apparent. From the beginning, the story in pry isn’t immediately apparent, so the reader is forced to search for the answers themselves.

The story begins very vaguely. The prologue is a short video clip, starting off looking like a simple independent film, but then erupting into a series of flashing lights and eerie sounds. As the reader you are completely overwhelmed, trying to understand what exactly what you just saw.

This is the hook that brings you into Pry, and I believe it is a rather effective one. From then on you are transported to a construction site, to the middle east, to a night alone in bed, and then all the way back to the character’s childhood. Sounds confusing right? That’s because it is at first, but the confusion only encourages you as the reader to dive deeper into the story, and that’s where I believe Pry succeeds as a piece of e-literature.

Another way Pry succeeds is in the dynamic approach it takes towards exploring the story. This approach mostly involves the reader using the pinching open and close gesture on an iDevice, but this is utilized in a few different ways. In chapters two and three, pinching open has the character open his eyes to the world, while pinching closed looks into the characters subconsciousness. This works very well, and even more interesting is the fact that the story is presented differently depending on when the reader decides to open or close the character’s eyes. Most interesting though is the mechanics of chapter six. In the chapter six the reader is given a small block of text, that reads:


Pinching open between the lines reveals more text, and then pinching open between both of those lines reveals more text, and then so on. This continues to the point where you are given hundreds of words of text and even small clips and flashing words in between the lines. It is amazing as a reader to start with something that is seemingly so simple, only to find that unfolding it reveals something else that is magnificently complex. That and the interesting story tied to it, makes Pry a fascinating and thought-provoking read.

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So, I highly recommend to Pry to anyone who’s interested in a reading experience that they have never come across before. You will spend hours diving into a story that is complex, tying in the past, present, and future of the character who’s shoes you are put in. Every time I came back to Pry, which was often, I craved to discover more about the story. It’s a story that drives your curiosity and begs you to continue uncovering what previously wasn’t understood.

My Score: 9/10


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