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17 February 2016


A friend of mine has been urging me to read this, and I've gotten in from the library but had to return it before I even got started. I do love the idea of dystopias very close to our own time. Octavia Butler's Parable books are like that. The breakdown they describe starts in 2015, but has roots that go further back involving environmental crises, wealth divides, and the like. I've been thinking about it a lot as I've watched the election unfold.

Oh yeah, you definitely have to be in the mood. Mr. CR found it too depressingly realistic and stopped. The more I think about it the more I liked it, though, and I love it when books or movies do that. What I really liked about it was how some characters just kept ending up screwed, even when they were trying to get ahead by being a bit smarter or working a bit harder. That seems more honest to me than this "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" crap.
Thanks for the tip on Octavia Butler. I've always wanted to read her and may start now with the Parable books you mention.
p.s. I'm trying very hard not to watch the election unfold.

I'm too scared to read this book! Water shortages are probably the future-apocalypse scenario I worry about the most. Erin Bow's excellent book The Scorpion Rules deals with that too, although it's not the primary apocalyptic element that makes the book's premise.

Yeah, it was kind of scary, I must admit. But good! And thanks for the tip of "The Scorpion Rules"--I'll have to check it out.

I have had his The Windup Girl on my TBR for a few years now.

I agree, dystopias that are just slightly off from the now are the most terrifying and if I am in the right mood, I enjoy reading them. I really liked the first two books of the MadAdam trilogy and I also enjoyed Butler's Parable of the Sower.

I am with you in not loving Fates and Furies. I think I just dislike Groff's writing style. I didn't like her earlier book Arcadia either.

Yes, I remember The Windup Girl got a lot of press. I thought after reading this one, hey, I've got to read that too now. (She laughs here. I am now hopelessly, hopelessly behind on books I want to read.)

And oh gosh, the MadAdam series too, always wanted to try that, although perhaps I will re-read The Handmaid's Tale first?

I agree. Bleah on Groff. Not for me--didn't she have a book with "Monsters" in the title or something? I think I started and chucked that one too.

MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON. I started that (it was also highly praised) and wasn't more than a couple of chapters in when I realized "I am going to loathe every single character in this book" and decided not to allot them any further headspace.

I am done with dystopias. Either I find them plausible-to-impossible, in which case they annoy the snot out of me (these are mostly the "teen" variety) or I find them all too likely, in which case they keep me up worrying into the wee hours.

Honestly, every time I turn on the news, I start desperately yearning fluffy romantic comedies. Or old "Calvin and Hobbes" strips. Anything but reality.

Hilariously, CRjr and LilCR spent part of the day looking at Calvin and Hobbes strips. They can't even read and they think they're funny.

Ah yes, Monsters of Templeton, that was it. I am just completely bored by Groff and her writing style. I don't even get as far as contemplating the characters.

I don't read a lot of dystopias either, really. (And I try earnestly never to turn on the news, although I do listen to the radio and sometimes get tricked into hearing current events that way.) Weirdly, when they're well done, like this one was, I think I go to sleep feeling better that at least one other person in the world has had similar scared thoughts. Or something. Solidarity! I also really loved one of the characters in this book--started out kind of naive, ended pragmatic, was entirely individual the entire way.

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