4 Short Stories that Are Logic Games at Heart

BPPlaura-lsat-blog-reading-comp

Last time I blogged, I gave suggestions of podcasts that would give you some general subject familiarity that might help you on reading comp. Today’s suggestions are for short fiction that will help you with logic games. If that sounds pretty unlikely, that’s because it is.

These suggestions are quite tenuously related to actual studying, but if you’re casting about for a great read, you could do worse than these short stories, chosen for a logical complexity that mimics that of the games (and for their general coolness).

“Menelaiad” by John Barth (a story in Lost in the Funhouse)

This is the nuttiest story you’ll ever read. It tells the classic Greek myth of the beautiful Helen of Troy and the men she loved, but does so using a convoluted and hilarious writing style. Ever heard of the “story-within-a-story”? This has eight of those, and they don’t stay neatly organized. Keeping track of who is speaking and which storyline you’re in requires mental gymnastics of the sort that logic games demand of you. And it’s fun.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

The Purloined Letter

by Edgar Allan Poe

Poe invented the modern detective story: Arthur Conan Doyle explicitly said that he based the character of Sherlock Holmes on Poe’s creation, the Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin. But Poe’s detective is darker and weirder, and he’s got style. One gets the creeping sense that perhaps the reason Dupin is so good at solving these mysteries is that actually what’s going on is that Dupin is sitting in a dark room in an altered state of mind, solving mysteries that are nothing more than his own hallucinations (think John Nash in A Beautiful Mind here).

Two connections to logic games: first, detective stories plant clues in the text that invite the reader to try combining the pieces in different ways to unlock the answer, like logic games rules. Second, Dupin (and Holmes) are badass masters of deduction that may serve as spiritual inspirations to you on your quest to best the games.

“The Garden of Forking Paths” in Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges

Borges was a master of the magical realist style associated with Latin American authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Borges is a touch more sinister and surreal than even Marquez, and this story proves it. Here in one of his most famous stories, Borges writes of a character who pens a novel that represents all possible outcomes of a decision occurring simultaneously in time. If you can wrap your mind around that idea, neither the games nor anything else in the LSAT is a match for you.

Got a suggestion of a great logic game/brain bender story? Leave a comment below!

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