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Posts Tagged ‘dystopian’

33. “The Road,” Cormac McCarthy

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

A father must protect his son as they try to scrape together a life in this sparse post-apocalyptic tale.

I think it is pretty well established that I get a little too involved with dystopic novels and might sometimes get confused about whether or not they are really happening. But I read most of this book in the cold on my front stoop while I was locked out of my house and smoking to keep warm, and, yeah, I kept thinking I was the only person carrying the fire. Even as parents with toddlers and small dogs strolled past me.

Page count: 287
Total pages: 10,452

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26. “The Uglies,” Scott Westerfield

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

It Tally’s world, everyone becomes pretty on their sixteenth birthday, and are whisked away from the ugliness in which they have grown up to become self-assured Pretties. SHOCKINGLY, this might not be the best thing and doesn’t erase the pain of being ugly, just turns it into a disease.

Tally can’t wait for her birthday to take away the burden of her squinty eyes and frizzy hair, and to reunite her with her best friend, Peris, who turned pretty two months before her. When she meets Shay, a fellow ugly with the same birth date as her, Tally is happy to have someone to pass her last few months of ugliness with. But when Shay reveals that she is running away rather than be made surgically pretty, Tally is torn between her community, the desire to be pretty, and the urge to protect her new friend.

Page count: 402
Page total: 7,618

45. “The Road,” Cormac McCarthy

July 12, 2010 Leave a comment

A father must protect his son as they try to scrape together a life in this sparse post-apocalyptic tale.

This was part of the extremely anxious night I had. I played “Resident Evil 4” for like nine solid hours, to the point that it was all I could see when I shut my eyes. Then I read this book in my empty apartment and I was pretty sure the world had ended– except for a handful of rogues who would attempt to catch me and chain me in their basement so they can slice off and consume slices of my flesh.

Page count: 305
Page total: 11,583
LOC call number: PS3563.C337R63 2006

31. “Flashforward,” Robert J. Sawyer

May 25, 2010 Leave a comment

The show is better. Yeah, I said it.

Page count: 319
Page total: 7,853

60. “World War Z,” Max Brooks

September 15, 2009 2 comments

This audiobook had a full cast reading it, which was really awesome for an oral history. It also had some creepy atmospheric music (like “The Haunting of Hill House,” which expired before I could finish it, so this may be its only mention). My favorite of the histories was the pilot whose plane crashed in the bayou. I usually listen to the book while I’m waiting to fall asleep (an endevour that often takes an hour or more), and this one was so vivid. I don’t typically get pictures in my head while reading, but I could see that one.

Brooks did a good job capturing the voices of people in many different cultures (though the voice actresses and actors may have helped, too).

I’d really recommend both the book and audiobook.

Page count: 352
Page total: 23,972

56. “The Zombie Survival Guide,” Max Brooks

August 24, 2009 1 comment

Once again, while reading I frequently forgot that these things weren’t really happening. When reading over my friend ryan’s while he went to get coffee, I paused during the home defense chapter to get a slice of pizza. Ryan opened the door from the garage and my heart stopped.

This book was also my first experience with the Boston Public Library’s e-book resources and Mobipocket Reader. I am completely fucking obsessed.

Page count: 288
Page total: 23,152

54. “Blindness,” José Saramago

August 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Really interesting, but very problematic– frequently sexist and blindness exists only as a metaphor for the worst side of human nature. People who experience this white blindness quickly become animals, shitting their beds, hording food, lashing out violently. In fact, the author has them referring to one another as animals: when one character asks the other his name, he responds “what use would names be to us, no dog recognizes another dog” by name (52). So throughout the story, people are referred to by a descriptor. Predictably, the married women are referred to as [whoever’s] wife, and not as autonomous beings. Even the doctor’s wife, whom I will refer to as the woman who could see, is nothing more than her husband’s job.

Liat Ben-Moshe breaks down the problematic theme of blindness in “Disability Studies Quarterly.” I also came across a blog that asks What Sorts of People Should There Be? that comments on a few of the advertising techniques employed by the movie promoters.

Stylistically, Saramago does not use punctuation marks to set off dialog, nor does he use carriage returns. Paragraphs are often quite long. This makes the book difficult to put down, because there are very few natural pauses. I don’t mean difficult in a bad way, nor in an entirely positive way. It took some getting used to each time I returned to it, but once I figured it out, it kept me reading. It also augments the confusion of not yet having learnt how to navigate blind in a seeing world, as the speech sees to overlap and sometimes it is hard to sort out who is saying what.

I did find the book engrossing– while reading I experienced the odd blurring between life and reading and kept forgetting that neither my friend nor I were blind. In my defense, for a lot of the time that I was reading, he was sleeping half-sitting up in the same room, there but not seeing. Also in my defense, I am ridiculous and apparently don’t understand the difference between having your eyes shut and being physically unable to see.

Page count: 352
Page total: 22,864