Small Game

Small Game by Blair Braverman is a riveting debut novel about a survival reality show during which something goes terribly wrong. The premise of the show Civilization is simple: four strangers are dropped off at an undisclosed location in the wilderness and have to live off the land for six weeks in order to collect a substantial prize. When the show’s producers select Mara, a teacher at Primal Instinct, a survival school for wealthy clients looking to learn wilderness skills, she’s a little surprised but feels that her unusually wild childhood has prepared her adequately for the challenges ahead. What it hasn’t prepared her for is dealing with--and trusting--her fellow contestants, a white-collar professional, a seasoned outdoorsman, an Eagle Scout, and a beautiful but deeply unprepared young woman. Still, Mara needs the money so that she can start a new life afresh--if she can survive the show.  Small Game deals with the theme of the eternal human struggle against nature, but also looks closely at the parts of reality shows that the camera doesn’t capture and the toll that the ever-watchful camera takes on its contestants.