“‘I would like to welcome the world to The Die-Fi Experiment. Please join us in the fun that is the deterioration of the world by means of social media.’
Marie and her husband are spending their honeymoon in Tokyo, Japan. While strolling the downtown streets, they are hoaxed into a chance at winning the latest cell phone: First to get through a maze of doors wins! Only they both awaken amidst a sadistic live-stream gameshow. Marie competes against a man while both of their partners are strapped down to chairs. The winner of the deranged challenges imposes extreme pain for their own partner while the loser receives their own form of demented punishment. As it goes on, more and more people around the World Wide Web tune in. The winner of the entire competition gets the chance to fight one last time for their ultimate chance of survival against their own partner…to the death! Will Marie and her husband get the chance to have their first fight as a married couple, and if they do, who will be the last one standing?” (Source: Goodreads)
After a run of several disappointing books, I decided to take a hot bath last night and delve into M. R. Tapia’s novella, The Die-Fi Experiment. Like most books I read, I set a high expectation for this one in terms of gory horror. While it isn’t quite as grotesque as I might like, I find it to be a rather amusing read. On the same page in which Tapia scribes the fears many couples face, he makes a mockery of today’s society.
As a fan of horror movies, it’s hard to find this piece of work original. Many elements within the novella are reminiscent of the Saw franchise – all the way down to the marshmallow eye scene (which you’ll encounter if you choose to read The Die-Fi Experiment). Although a few of the other scenes are cringe-worthy if you imagine yourself as the victim.
The Die-Fi Experiment goes back and forth between the not-so-distant past and present, and my largest issue therein is the fact that sometimes the tenses switch. I am aware that the present parts of the story are meant to be present tense and vice versa; however, I think it works best to choose one tense and stick with it. Otherwise things can quickly become confusing.
On Goodreads, this novella is tagged humor. Personally, I find the term “black comedy” more fitting. After all, viewers appear comically oblivious to the fact that what they watch live is truly torture (or perhaps they’re particularly disturbed individuals). For a little extra splash of humor, Tapia throws in a few hashtags that serve as a parody of the tweets and instagram posts that show up throughout the novella.
Overall, I liked The Die-Fi Experiment. I don’t find it exceptional by any means, but it serves its purpose fairly well. The ending falls a bit short of my expectations, but Tapia manages to produce a piece of work that ensnares my short attention span. In fact, I read this novella in one sitting. While I likely will not read it again, this is definitely a short book for fans of Saw and other torture films.
I would like to thank M. R. Tapia for providing me with a copy of his novella free of charge in exchange for an honest review.