Monday, June 20, 2005

A Book in Your Email Box

A couple months ago I mentioned a new book that could only be purchased online called The Daughters of Freya by Michael Betcherman (writer and filmmaker) and David Diamond (journalist and author). Now I've had the opportunity to read it and I can honestly say it was a lot of fun. The book is a mystery novel and while I'm generally not a huge fan of the mystery genre, this book is enjoyable. It is an e-pistolary novel written entirely in the form of emails to and from the main character Samantha Dempsey with an occasional email from an unknown person or persons thrown in to add some extra suspense. Best of all, to read the book you have to do nothing other than open your email box. Each day you receive 3-4 emails which can include anywhere from 1 to 5 or 6 "emails" in the story. You'll receive 110 emails in your inbox over the course of a couple of weeks. Some of the story emails have hyperlinks in them to "news" articles and flight reservations, even a hotel in Paris that really exists. There are also "attachments" of photographs of some suspects. And if you are worried about accidentally losing an email, you get a user name and password when you buy the book and can find anything you missed online. An unusual format to be sure, but what about the story you ask? The main character, Sam, is a journalist living in Toronto. She is contacted (via email) by a friend who tells her that his daughter Lisa is in a cult in California called the Daughters of Freya and could Sam help get her home? Sam agrees. The Daughters of Freya has a "Temple" compound located in northern CA. It is run by a charismatic woman named Simone who has a small group of girls who, as daughters of the Goddess Freya, believe it is their mission and duty to heal the world through sex. Sam approaches the group as a journalist to do a story which she is planning on publishing in West Coast, a magazine edited by an old friend. This being a mystery story I will tell you no more, only that things don't go as one would expect. The novel costs only $4.99 and you can select the date on which you start receiving emails. The website also has a short preview if you want to check out the first few emails before you buy. The novel has also been reviewed by The Guardian in the News Blog and several other outfits for which the book's website will provide you links. Inexpensive, fun and a pick-me-up for your email in box, The Daughters of Freya is a yummy candy treat.