Rated 7.12 out of 10 Statistics
Overall Rating: 7.121
Average Rating: 5 (Guests), 8 (Members)
Rating Count: 2 (0 Guests, 2 members)
1 indicates a weighted rating.
"Quirky, saucy, grimy." permalink
Based on the first story arc of six, I found this to be an entertaining, reasonably well-written story. The author deliberately restricted herself to chapter installments of exactly 333 words, which I'm sure is an interesting experiment in precision and control from a writer's perspective, but as a reader I think the story would have benefited from more traditional, approximate chapter length limits. Having said that though, she did pull off the trick pretty well, as the installments all seem pretty natural and not rushed or drug out. Also, the very brief chapters make it very easy to dive in and read one or two complete chunks before deciding whether you want to commit to finishing it or not.
I might have given the work a higher rating, but it wasn't really the kind of thing I usually like. If you like your worlds dark(ish), your characters quirky, your fantasy unconventional, and your dialogue arch, you might find this really enjoyable. Even with my usual aversion to this kind of story, it was still interesting, and short, enough that I will go back and finish more of the story arcs later. If my opinion is considerably revised after reading the other character arcs and learning more about the mysterious Tribe, I will revise this review accordingly.
"An Experiment Gone Horribly Right" permalink
Tribe is an old work, in Internet terms. It dates back to 2007, when web fiction barely existed. It was an experiment and an exercise for Alexandra Erin, author of one of the pioneering works of modern web fiction, who was a fledgling writer at that time. It suffers from many of the hallmarks of a writer who is still honing her skills. It was never "finished."
Tribe is amazing. Its limited wordcount per chapter means that the reader is left with poignant, minimal images much of the time. The reader actively participates in the creation of meaning in the text. This device isn't simply used to make the work fancier or more "artsy," however. The entire story deals with the ways we create meaning in our real lives. Whenever we are confronted with a person or situation, we have an option: We can either rely on our received notions of that person, society, and the world, or we can accept that we know nothing about this phenomenon and embrace it with open, innocent eyes. When we make the latter choice, there's a chance that magic will happen.
Is this surprisingly deep, high-brow material for a work that was originally intended to be a simple writing exercise? Yes. Is it one of the most inspirational works I've ever read? Definitely yes.
Tribe tells the story of those who have fallen between the cracks of society and found out that they haven't failed; they've escaped.