lukas, February 9, 2014 (view all comments by lukas)
It's become something of a minor trend for "serious"/acclaimed literary writers to turn to genre fiction, especially dystopian stories: "The Road," "Never Let Me Go," Colson Whitehead's "Zone One." As someone who enjoys sci-fi, I resent it somewhat because I feel a/there's something a little condescending about these authors doing "genre" and b/I think they get better reviews than the authors who are really doing sci-fi. Chang-rae Lee's novel is set in a future America and involves closed off communities and lots of fish or something. It's a rather half-realized vision of the future that is neither convincing nor compelling. J.G. Ballard was doing this kind of speculative fiction years earlier and doing it in a far more intelligent and provocative manner. Eh.
From the acclaimed author of Native Speaker comes a stirring new novel set in a futuristic America. With beautiful prose, Chang-rae Lee relates the captivating tale of a young woman compelled to find her lover after his disappearance from their labor settlement.
by Booklist (starred review),
“Lee, always entrancing and delving, takes a truly radical leap in this wrenching yet poetic, philosophical, even mystical speculative odyssey....Lee brilliantly and wisely dramatizes class stratification and social disintegration, deprivation and sustenance both physical and psychic, reflecting, with rare acuity, on the evolution of legends and how, in the most hellish of circumstances, we rediscover the solace of art. Electrifying.”
by Library Journal (starred review),
“The title alone is an astonishing feat of encapsulated genius from the inimitable Lee....Brilliant....A heart-thumping adventure.”
by Kirkus (starred review),
"A harrowing and fully imagined vision of dystopian America from Lee....The potency and strangeness of [his]characters never diminish the sense that Lee has written an allegory of our current predicaments, and the narration, written in the collective voice of B-Mor, gives the novel the tone of a timeless and cautionary fable. Welcome and surprising proof that there's plenty of life in end-of-the-world storytelling."
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