I heard about this novel from Boing Boing's Gweek podcast. I was interested in the description and the thought provoking points the author was addressing. I confess to disappointment due to my own expectations and my review of the book is tainted by the fact that this story is simply not what I wanted it to be.
This is a story of the worst in humanity. Tragedy, cruelty and self destruction are the primary tenants of this novel and it seems to me that it pushes too far. My experience in life has not been one of villains at every corner and irreversible self destruction. These traits exist, and are not rare, but are not the norm. I have not read "The Road" because I heard enough about it to know I would not like it. It is a story about the failure of humanity, and so is this.
As I said, it is unfair for me to judge this book by comparing it to a story I wish I had heard, so I will attempt to review it for what it is. It is clever in its ability to be thought provoking and subtle in its ability to follow the cascade of seemingly unrelated problems to a potential correlation. The characters are far from flat, but most seem to be flawed in an un-compelling way, letting things happen to them.
The story is full of detail and thought, but the series of events is bleak and soul sucking. I feel it is a short sided product of the general "everything sucks" attitude of the moment. It is easy to look at the news for a day or a year or 10 and feel that we are doomed, but the majority of human history, while not all sunshine and daisies, trends upwards. I feel that stories like this err on the side of pessimism and nihilism.
The narration is fitting for the story, but that's not a good thing. What little brevity and hope there was in the story is squashed by the narrators depressed reading.
Enjoyment of this book is dependent, as with virtually anything, on your world view. If you want to like the protagonist in any story you are reading then you will most likely want to pass on The Post-Mortal. If you enjoy and good "life sucks and then you die" french film then this may be the book for you.
I may give another of the author's works a shot, it is not a bad book, I just didn't enjoy the story arc, the general outlook and the narration.
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