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Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 10th, 2009 | EarthBound 64, Merchandise, MOTHER 3

The Notebook, The Proof, the Third Lie
By Agota Kristof
Find on Amazon (~$11)
Find on eBay

It’s not too widely known, but MOTHER 3 was inspired in part by a book called “Le Grand Cahier” by Agota Kristof, which was released in English as “The Notebook”. It’s the first book in a three-part series. Itoi first mentioned this fact way back when working on the Nintendo 64 version of MOTHER 3, as you can see here. It’s where Lucas and Claus get their names, but it’s also the source of a lot of other little things here and there.

I haven’t read the books myself, but EarthBound fan Meta Warp has, and was kind enough to do a really big write-up of them 😀 Check it out if you want to see how the books connect with MOTHER 3, and to see how crazy they can get sometimes!

All three books were recently made into one collection, and you can get it really cheap at Amazon here for like $11. I’m going to get a copy for myself sometime so I can get a better look at how MOTHER 3 came to be, but it’d be cool if a bunch of people read them too so we could have a book discussion. In fact, Itoi’s mentioned a whole bunch of other books that helped inspire things in MOTHER and MOTHER 2, so we should start a book club or something like Oprah 😛 The EarthBound Book Club – doesn’t get much nerdier than that!

Anyway, I’ll talk about these other books at a later time, don’t fret. Whose books are these? My books. Your books. Books books books.


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28 Comments to MOTHER 3 and The Notebook

Jimi said on Mar. 10, 2009

I’ve actually just purchased this book recently and am waiting for it to ship.

Mato said on Mar. 10, 2009

I just looked and they only have two left at Amazon right now. I guess they don’t sell many of that book usually.

rayefrenzy said on Mar. 10, 2009

i wonder what the chances are of the chicago library having this book.

Dale said on Mar. 10, 2009

I would so be up for a Mother Book Club!

NintenGodot said on Mar. 10, 2009

Wasn’t it “Le grand cahier”?

Aura said on Mar. 10, 2009

Yeah you’re right NintenGodot. ^^ (I’m french and “cashier” doesn’t mean anything, whereas “cahier” does)

Mato said on Mar. 10, 2009

Yeah, you’re right, that old translated interview is what tricked everyone. It was done before Starmen.Net even existed, so it’s pretty cemented as “Cashier” in many people’s heads now, including mine. Stupid head, learn more French!

Happy Happiest said on Mar. 10, 2009

I bought and read this book a year ago. It’s not very Mother-y but it is good, and definitely worth $11. I think I’m going to re-read this now.

Spitball Sparky said on Mar. 10, 2009

I read this. A damn good read.

I typed up some of the best chapters from the first book if anybody is interested.

Dadalama said on Mar. 10, 2009

wow I read alittle bit of it at that site and that’s some powerful writing! I’m getting the books ASAP.

riskyfish said on Mar. 10, 2009

I’ve actually read it; I did so quite awhile ago.

It’s a very, very strange book. But there’s an undeniable power in it. Sure, there’s some really weird, cruel, dark stuff in it, but man, it’s certainly one of the best books I’ve ever read.

(I’ll shut up now. :3)

HAK2 said on Mar. 10, 2009

i have read the notebook. i can say one thing about it:
older audiences.
I was a little surprised at the stuff put in it. like that one person says, the characters are “a far cry” from the book ones.

Mrjupiter said on Mar. 10, 2009

I’ve seen some kids at school read this, looks pretty good.

r1swimmer said on Mar. 10, 2009

I read the snippets that were posted on the site that was linked to. It does seem to have a sort of MOTHER 3 feel to it (language, darkness and all). Itoi was probably so affected by reading the book that he wanted to give a similar feel to his game.

I might have to pick up a copy, the snippets were very good.

TheReaper09 said on Mar. 10, 2009

This is in the list of must read

Stuffgamer1 said on Mar. 10, 2009

I note that the article about these books that was linked here mentioned (and linked) something about the N64 version of Mother 3 being darker than the GBA version. I hadn’t known that before. It’s a scary thought, based on what I’ve played of Mother 3 (haven’t finished it yet; got to the top of the snowy mountain in Chapter 7, I believe, then decided to wait for my preordered guide to get here and start over).

I love seeing a creator who’s inspired by culture. There’s far too little culture in most video games, I think. Find me a game inspired by Bleak House and I’ll be THRILLED (best piece of culture with which I am familiar)! And no, the small reference in SBCG4AP doesn’t count. 😛

Darien said on Mar. 10, 2009

My wife asked me what I was laughing at, and I pointed her at “Whose books are these? My books. Your books. Books books books.” She found it simultaneously amusing and disturbing that I’m not the only person who uses that joke. 😉

Saturnome said on Mar. 11, 2009

I read that book, in original french, years ago at school! There’s some gross stuff in it, but I liked it, it’s quite unique. But there’s nothing MOTHER-ish in it.

ZombiePaul said on Mar. 11, 2009

I’m intrigued. I think I’m going to pick this up on my next day off.

Den said on Mar. 11, 2009

Read it while back. Good stuff, but if it’s like EB, it’s only in a twisted way. It’s interesting how Itoi was inspired by this and to see his product by comparison.

Red said on Mar. 22, 2009

I read this while playing through MOTHER 3 for the first time when I got my R4(which was roughly a month after the patch came out). It’s a really good trilogy. I agree that the first book is the best 😀

Ginrei said on Mar. 22, 2009

I dunno… this is a nice write up, but the real link between Mother 3 and these books is in the last one, the “The Third Lie”. The family in that book is very similar to the family in M3… but… I guess I shouldn’t ruin it…

ropesnake said on Mar. 31, 2009

My copy from Amazon arrived yesterday (with the MOTHER 3 handbook, coincidentally)…just read the first book in one sitting, and yes it is definitely for a mature audience, but I can see a lot of the game in there already and can’t wait to read the other two books.

So, is The Sirens of Titan going to be the next stop for the EB-MBC (EarthBound-Mother Book Club) ?

Mato said on Mar. 31, 2009

Yep, that’s the plan. My copy should arrive this week, and then I’ll do a little write up or something. I wonder if any books helped inspire Mother 1.

ropesnake said on Apr. 10, 2009

Finished the trilogy last weekend…started Sirens of Titan already, and it’s good to be reading more Vonnegut.

The trilogy was very, very good, but also about as sad as you can get in that time period without delving directly into the Holocaust (although it’s in there). By now though, there’s a set expectation for that sort of sadness with any book about WWII.

Long and short, if anyone else comes back to this post, read the trilogy. When it’s all in one cheap book, there’s no excuse!

a.m. battles said on Jan. 23, 2012


a.m. battles said on Jan. 23, 2012

‘s one of the best works of literature in human history, which i happen to have read a lot of.


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