A New Era of Reading: a review of Pry


Pry, a novella sold in the apple app store as an “e-book’ and is a new twist on the way books were traditionally meant to be read. The app takes the reader on an experience with the use of videos and interactions with the words on the “pages’.   It isn’t anything like I have ever read before, the novella starts off with having to use two fingers to make the main character blink. It allows the reader to either open the eyes or go deeper into the subconscious of the main character. Pry is a new form of reading and is trail-heading a path of a new type of reading and taking in a book.

The e-book uses videos, audio, and different actions to shake up traditional reading. Reading has always been more than just understanding the words that are on the page but with pry it goes deeper than just that. The video clips help tell the story and put faces to the names written. At first it all seems confusing but the deeper into the story the reader goes than the more everything seems to make sense. The story line, the characters and the drama involved all become more clear. The main character is James, who as the reader learns is having problems with his sight and is going blind. As you pry into the subconscious of James you learn more about his history and past. Like most people James’ past isn’t perfect. James spent some time in the military and was over seas in the middle east. The reader learns about his story and his life.

There are many things that the developers of pry did that can be seen as an amazing job such as the way they formatted the programming. The app alone is more than just a book, it is filled with deeper layers of texts and videos that add to   the story. The work is sheer genius. It is no longer just simply turning pages to read, it is blinking, expanding, watching, and scrolling over braille to “read’. It is quite exceptional work. As the reader goes through the story the chapters change without the readers control taking them deeper into James’ story. Another thing that Pry did well was creating a story that is not only captivating, but also mysterious. Pry leaves the reader with all sorts of questions. The work is not only a work of art but also a thought piece, which it was meant to be. In an interview with LA Weekly one of the writers of Pry Samantha Gorman “As a conceptual writer … I want to be made to think through, not just think about ‘. I do believe that Gorman has accomplished just that.

Not everyone may know what digital literature is and wrapping ones mind around Pry isn’t as easy as it may sound, but the novella is making headway into the digital world. Personally when I first started to read Pry I didn’t really know what to make of it. Having to figure out how to even get through the book was like going on an adventure. It wasn’t like anything that I had veer read before. As I read the book I was learning as I went along such as how to navigate and that there are more layers to the story. At the bottom of each chapter in the table of contents it shows diamonds to let the reader know how far they have made it in the abyss of a book that is Pry. I wouldn’t recommend Pry to just anyone, it is meant to be an experience and isn’t a walk in the park, but to those I would recommend it to it is definitely highly recommended on my part. It is well written and well developed, Pry is a gateway to how books will be read for the future in the digital world.





Work Cited

Herstik, Lauren. “Pry Is a Novella-Meets—iPad App That You Touch.”  LA Weekly. LA Weekly, 28 Nov. 2014. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.

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