A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
Brilliant, tight and prescient. Wells is working about 3 themes right on top of each other. He makes us the rabbits, the ants, the colonized and is able to explore not just themes of technology and evolution, but colonialism and imperialism.
The Spencer narration, however, just doesn't seem able to carry the full weight of Wells. It was clear, but his clipped reading seemed unable to make the Wells words flow easily.
"I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all... "
One of my favorite Vonnegut. Top-shelf. Snug and warm next to Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, & Mother Night. The magic of Vonnegut is he develops an idea to the point where -- just as you start believing it::just as you are comfortable in his absuridty -- he kicks you down another Martian rabbit hole.
He doesn't want you sitting and enjoying yourself. He wants you constantly bubbling with that 'da Fu?' look on your face. He wants you to think -- goddammit. He wants you to understand and that means he has to first confuse the hell out of you. But that doesn't mean his rollercoaster ride has to be boring. No no. He is going to zip you forward and sideways so fast you are going think you are close to sickness, except his funky humor and biting satire seems to balm all nausea ad absurdum. Incredible. Genius.
There are points in this book where if Vonnegut had said he was forming a church, I'd join. If he said he was God the lawgiver, I'd reverently lower my eyes. If he said he expected a tithe, I'd buy Vonnegut book. Yessir, I'd go door-to-door seeking converts to his form of absurd and giddy Humanism. Amen, pass the snuff-box.
Top shelf Philip K Dick exploring a tangled web of heavy themes like: what it means to be human, the nature and limits of empathy, love, religion, God, entropy, animals, decay.
I had mistakenly put off this novel because HELL I already saw the movie. How can you improve upon THAT movie? Well, the book is better. A cliché, certainly I know, but it is spot on with this book. The movie captures a piece of the PKD mad genius, but it is a 2D representation of a 3D Dick. IT is an android, an artificial sheep of a movie that moves, bellows and behaves perfectly but doesn't have the spark the sizzle or the depth of the novel and IT was a HELLUVA good movie.
Anyway, I'm caught up in a PHDickathon and just ordered a bunch more of his novels off EBay, so I should at least have room to softly land my tattered soul after this amazing novel. Next up? 'Ubik' or 'a Scanner Darkly'.
It is the opposite of Atlas Shrugged in nearly ever aspect. From the political message it conveys, to the likability of the characters and to the quality of the writing, this book is everything I wanted Atlas Shrugged to be but found lacking. It is a very high quality work of fiction and is also a testament to science and philosophy. I can't recommend it enough.
It is also one of the few books I have read on the philosophy and politics of Anarchism (see also The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein). What's really amazing to me is that a book on Anarchism (this book) can be so starkly different from a book on Libertarianism (Atlas Shrugged) since Libertarianism is actually a branch of anarchy. The main difference of course is in the Libertarian union with Capitalism. The Dispossessed meticulously and convincingly exposes the weaknesses and inherent flaws in a Capitalistic society and will leave you pining for Odonian brotherhood.
Agree or disagree with the philosophies in this book, it will at the very least make you think about something new and probably feel something new as well.