emmejo, June 7, 2013 (view all comments by emmejo)
I do think this is a book that you have to read slowly, which is what I did, since there is so much info and it is often communicated in a disjointed way by our unreliable narrator. I could see where some people would get frustrated with it.
I found the almost ironic contrast between the setting, a high-tech far future, and the main character's conflict, whether or not to cheat on his wife-equivalent, intriguing. Often we expect some sort of epic heroism from sci-fi, especially dystopias, so having a MC who is not a man of action, but a bystander, unaware of the societal chaos he is fueling, makes for an unusual viewpoint.
I also loved the author's descriptions of characters and use of contrasts between them. O is a soft, friendly, familiar and natural women, while I is predatory, but dangerous and compelling and seductive because of her strangeness. R is outgoing, as much of a risk-taker as is allowed in this society, while D is extremely reserved in his expressions until being caught up in I's wake.
I thought the author did a good job showing D's mental state through his writing, which starts out as formulaic and precise, moves towards what we might term a "normal" style, and then goes farther, into a knotted mass of ideas and feelings which he has no experience trying to trap on paper, and finally the result of OneState's decision becomes clear in the remote brevity of his final entry.
Mateo, February 16, 2010 (view all comments by Mateo)
An incredibly influential book...and an obvious precursor to Orwell's 1984. The excellent mix of well-written prose, suspense, and unpredictability make for an masterful story which will stay with long after your have finished the novel.
It's strange, I really enjoyed this book (almost as much as I did Orwell's 1984), but if I had read this book before 1984...then I think I would have liked it even more (and 1984 less).
A quick and insightful read...definitely recommended.
ggggary, November 2, 2006 (view all comments by ggggary)
This was a great book. I read 1984 published by Signet Classic and at the end of the book the afterward listed some utopias and some distopias. After reading 1984 and this being the possible insperation for the store I found it and read it. I think that the book had a different spin on the ideas of a world too orderly and the fact that it was writen from the first person perspective and was more like journal entries seemed to add a personal touch to the book. It's worth seeking and adding to your collection.
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In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, nameless numbers, survivors of a devastating war, live out lives devoid of passion and creativity. Until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: he has an individual soul. Reputedly the inspiration for Orwell's 1984.
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