Il caso del re della seta (Italian)
El caso del rey de la seda (Spanish)
İpek kralı kayboldu (Turkish)
Kes Raja Sutera (Malay)
El rei de la seda (Catalan)
El rey de la seda (Spanish)
The Case of the Silk King (Graded Reader) (Gamebook)
The Case of the Silk King (TV Show)
|User Summary:||You travel to Thailand in hope of learning more about Jim Thompson, an American who worked in the silk business until his mysterious disappearance in 1967.|
I thought this was a good entry in the series. The world was interesting and consistent, and different choices never led to the same result, which made for interesting re-reading. There were a few too many unsatisfying, random endings, but otherwise I really liked this book. You can see my map of it here.
This book, a sequel to The Mystery of Ura Senke, is notable for two reasons. First of all, it is based on a true story; unless you count historical gamebooks, this sort of thing is unusual in the genre. Secondly, the book was adapted into a thirty minute television special which aired in 1992; as far as I can tell, this is the first (and only) time that an interactive book has been translated to a non-interactive visual medium. Sadly, I've not yet had the good fortune of seeing the special. In any case, the book is nearly (but not quite) as strong as its predecessor, and it is similar in its exploration of an Asian culture and in its internally-consistent development of a mystery plot. The writing is adequate, the choices are interesting, and solving the mystery is a challenge, but many of the story's conclusions aren't quite as satisfying as one might like them to be, and the clues are often found a bit too easily to be believed.
Frank Bolle's illustrations stand out as being particularly high quality in The Case of the Silk King. Shannon Gilligan has also done a nice job coming up with a very involving mystery that can be tackled from several different angles. I'd rate this as a very good entry in the series.
This book kind of made me wonder (not at all seriously) whether you could ever make a CYOA book about Jimmy Hoffa, someone else who also vanished without a trace. It's more difficult to write this material than your typical entry in the series because the person you need to find wasn't just simply kidnapped - they disappeared without a trace. It doesn't provide a very satisfying story because there is no plausible way the reader's character can ever find these people. All endings ultimately lead to failure.
But at least in Silk King, you get Shannon Gilligan instead of her husband R. A. Montgomery. Even though you can't ever find Jim Thompson (the titular Silk King) in the book, the writing along the way is decidedly above average. The story isn't one that really fits the medium very well, but at least Mrs. Gilligan gave it her best shot.
The illustrations in the reissued version of this are quite good - not too realistic, but not too cartoony either. That's probably because the guys who drew them are in fact Thai, which fits the book's setting perfectly.
I also liked that the setting wasn't bumped forward into the 21st century just for the heck of it. In the reissued version, it's still spring 1982 - the time period really makes the book seem that much more authentic. I don't know if other edits were made for the reissue as I've never seen the original, though.
|Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts:||
This mystery gamebook, based on the disappearance of Jim Thompson, is a pretty good one, but what I didn't like about it is that it is impossible to find Jim Thompson. Every ending is unsatisfying. The destination is always a disappointment, but it's the journey that rescues this book. All of the plots are interesting and nicely varied. Good, but not great.
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|Users with Extra Copies:||
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Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover
ChooseCo reissue edition
|Series:||Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) no. 14|
|Item:||The Case of the Silk King|
Marron, Jose Luis
193339014X / 9781933390147
|Length:||116 pages (plus author's note)|
|Number of Endings:||19|
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