Wally Lamb’s New Novel Is an App

by Melissa Ragsdale

Wally Lamb,#1 New York Times best-selling author of She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, is breaking into new digital territory by publishing his new book, I’ll Take You There, exclusively as an app. This will be the first original book app produced by the company Metabook.

Coming in Spring 2016, Lamb’s I’ll Take You There follows a film professor as he recounts the women who have had in impact on his life, using film as a lens for the feminine ideals and feminist realities. In addition to the written text of the novel, the app will feature an original soundtrack, a full cast audio drama narrating the story, and a documentary about Lamb, shot in the movie theater that inspired the novel.

This new type of publishing opens an exciting array of new possibilities for reader interaction. Founded last year by publisher and author Ken Siman, Metabook’s debut work was an app version of John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The app features a full cast audio recording (starring Laverne Cox), crime scene photographs, clips of interviews from Berendt’s research, commentary by Berendt, an interactive timeline paired with the story, and a 3-D panoramic view of the story’s setting.

What makes Lamb’s app especially unique is that the project is premiering before the publication of a hardcover or traditional e-book edition of I’ll Take You There. The app will only be available from the iTunes app store, meaning that only iOS devices will be able to run it. While this exclusivity has its disadvantages, the project is a huge marker in the digital publishing revolution.

“Welcome to the future of reading,” said Lamb in a press release. “Metabook blows past the boundaries of traditional publishing to create an exciting new reading adventure that’s interactive, multimedia, and visually stunning. Book consumption has never been such an all-encompassing experience, and I’m pleased to be penning an original novel for this innovative company.”

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