Too many books! I read audio books all day long and still can't keep up with all the great titles I've found!
I was surprised that this book turned out as bad as it did. I have read most of his work, including the two before this in the series, and was flabergasted by the hasty and poor execution. He had been fair through his other two books between atheism and theism - with balanced science on both sides of the arguement. For this one, it is an all out (amatuer) assault on religion as the source of everything evil in the world and it is all some kind of genetic defect. Can evil acts be blamed on religion? Sure, but everyone who studies more than transcripts of George Bush's speeches know that evil men grab religion as an exuse to get people to do things on faith. Faith doesn't cause evil, Mr. Sawyer, evil men do and then blame religion.
I think it is safe and accurate to say that Mr. Sawyer has a strange and unavoidable dislike of the United States (though I am sure if asked he would heartily deny it - not good for sales) and a bit of an obsession with his Canadianism - that and his religion. Aside from that, I agree with the other 3 reviewers here and have little to add.
Yes. About the same.
No. I needed to take breaks. I can't sit through this much political mush-headedness in one listening.
The author continues his political discourse throughout this 3rd book. It reminds me of a person complaining about the evils of large corporations while eating dinner in a restaurant owned by a large corporation... a meal being paid for by his father, who works for a large corporation. How nice that you have views, but you would not be free to discuss your views in this forum if it wasn't for the benefits of the system that you believe to be inferior. Specifically, Robert J Sawyer would not be able to spend time writing about the evils of agricultural societies if he lived in a hunter-gatherer society. He would be hunting. He would be fishing. He would be cleaning game & carrying it back to where the meal would be prepared. He would be doing these things because he had to eat, not because he enjoyed them. What archaeological evidence do we have that hunter-gatherers had any sort of writing? None. All evidence of early writing comes from peoples who lived in cities & cultivated fields.
His views on religion are interesting, too. It must be nice to live in a think-tank where people are not responsible for their own actions. This is not reality, however. People choose to make mistakes. Few, if any, religions preach that people should war with their neighbors. People choose to make war instead of peace. People choose to do evil unto others. These are choices, not mandates of religious system or practice.
The often-cited view of the author that Canada is superior to other countries is odd, also. In one paragraph he writes about how horrible is the death penalty, and how Canada doesn't practice it. In another he writes about abortion and how Canada allows it. So, it's okay to kill innocent babies but not okay to kill people who have chosen to enter a school and kill children? How is that a superior, or even logical, thought process?
These are only a small sample of the views expressed throughout the book. As I said in my comments about Book 2, Robert Sawyer - please tell your fabulous story, but leave out your brainwashing tactics.
Sawyer took a concept that had potential for an intriguing story, then butchered it by devoting the whole series to attacking any faith system other than atheism. While the series was intended to be a platform for social commentary, it doesn't really have anything to say other than the world would be a better place if we had technologies that don't exist, men took no hand in child rearing and just stayed away from women and children, and that all would be just butterflies and lollipops if we did no homework into religion, blamed all our problems on it, and turned to the guiding light of atheism for moral clarity. Really, he could have covered that in a pamphlet. Going through that over and over in a trilogy was painful. Save yourself the frustration. AVOID THIS SERIES.
As I said in my previous two reviews:
This book is the kind of ultra left wing propaganda that would stretch Stalin's face into that evil Uncle Joe grin like few other modern works. The author claims to have been inspired by the original Planet of the Apes films to create a work that will engage the reader in modern political topics while entertaining them. Obviously he is either insincere in his claim or is incapable of seeing validity except in the most absurd and deformed views of the socialists super Liberal intellectual elitist. Though he tries hard it is destined to be a weak case from a totalitarian, fundamentally Marxist, socially non-redemptive perspective which may explain why he barely ever offers an inkling that there may be a counter argument to his ridiculous vision.
The writing and story line are not too bad so if your into this type of tripe you will certainly enjoy it.
I read all three hoping he might somehow redeem himself. I held out judgment until the very end.