Book – Mr. Robot eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt

Mr. Robot eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt

Steve Taylor-Bryant continues his fascination with Mr. Robot by taking a look into the new book by show creator Sam Esmail and writer Courtney Looney…


We take a look at a lot of tie-in novels, comics, guide books and everything else you can imagine releasing to tie-in with a television show or a film but I’ve never quite come across one as brilliant as Red Wheelbarrow before, which is really not surprising considering that everything Sam Esmail and the Mr. Robot team do is different to the norm. During season 2 of the show, Elliot had us convinced he was living back with his mother and staying in an analogue world, choosing a handwritten journal rather than a laptop or PC. It was completely relevant to the season we were watching and also harked back to the period of time between the 5/9 hack and discovering Elliot in his captivity at the start of season 2. Elliot had entrusted his notebook to Hot Carla to destroy but, from the inside of the front cover, we learn that Carla couldn’t bring herself to do that and so has given us the book. Here then, is a glimpse inside the mind of Elliot Alderson that we, as fans, have been desperate for since the show’s creation.

Many of the pages contained within are those actually glimpsed in the show and there are handwritten codes and pencil drawn QR codes that, if you got wrapped up the genius level marketing during the show, you have to try as they take you to some incredible places. Elliot’s thoughts are countered throughout by the capitalised rantings of Mr. Robot and often commented on by Carla’s red pen. If you are struggling slightly with what’s going on, perhaps you aren’t as familiar with the shows intricacies as perhaps you like to be, the addition of Carla’s musings act like a guide, not fully explaining anything but gently nudging you back towards somewhere you should maybe be.

Then we come to beauty of the detail. Hidden within the pages and pages of Elliot’s thoughts are pull out items. There is a torn out page from Tolstoy’s Resurrection covered in ‘noughts & crosses’ games, newspaper clippings with the reported sightings of Tyrell Wellick, church leaflets and a card from Darlene. Each has their own place within the show’s mythology but it’s not very often the Easter eggs of a story are touchable and it really adds something to the reading experience.

I’d love to go more in depth with its contents and what they mean to me but I can’t. The book, as the show is, is a personal journey. We all get the main story but underneath the fsociety versus Evil Corp stuff are strands that speak to you as individual reader or viewer. You know from our articles on this site that Nate and I both lapped up every episode but took different things from the story during our rabid entertainment and the book is the same. You’ll get information that you crave from the time Elliot spent in jail, but you’ll also discover small parts that speak to only you and that is really, really clever, something not often pulled off in a book. Even if you don’t want to go that in-depth it’s still a beautifully crafted book that is surely a must own for all fans.

Image - Goodreads.

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