There will come a time when we look back at the sex registry as a shameful period in American history similar to the Salem Witch Trials and the Puritanism of the 'Scarlet Letter.'
I have been waiting for someone to write this book and Russell Banks has done it.
It is the story of the 21st century's Huck Finn - tortured by a system he can't understand and sentenced to a lifetime of excommunication from society. The really terrific thing about this book is that it is not didactic or preachy. It is lyrical and funny and a wonderful yarn.
Everyone who has had anything to do with someone on a sex registry will want to read this. This includes perpetrators and victims. If you haven't and you want to know what it is like, read this book. If you just want to hear a great story read this book!
I do think that this book was almost as good as Daemon - in fact, maybe just as good. And Daemon is one of my all time favorites. The story is especially timely as we hear about all of the snooping and spying that is going on around the world.
The protagonist this time is a woman and she is portrayed as a person. There are not endless descriptions of her appearance with the man drooling over her. In fact, I think there is more discussion of the lead man's appearance than of hers.
The weaving of interesting science into the action is as well done as it was in Daemon. I am interested in insects so I found that part to be a lot of fun.
The ending was fine but leads me to believe there will be a sequel.
This book has changed my life because it has finally made me understand the perils that lie ahead of us as we try to feed ourselves after oil gets harder to produce. Hager is just a genius.
Before writing this review I looked over what others have written. I concur with the numerous negative comments on Ms Kingsolver's narration of this story. The only reason I am writing this review is to point out that she has always narrated her own books. In the past her gentle, new-age voice has been appropriate. It was perfect for Prodigal Summer and was part of that book's charm for me. In this case is was just dreadful. I think that the book was good enough that someone should re-record it.
The only other negative comment I have is that it was a bit didactic. Sometimes it stopped being a story and turned into a straight-up history lecture. I happen to be very familiar with the events of this era having lived through them in a conscious state. Otherwise I might have found them as shocking as did Ms Kingsolver. The three stars I have given this book is for its content. The narration is -1.
I bought this book, started it and then put it aside for more than a year. Why? I guess it started out to be one of those "heartwarming" coming-of-age books and I wasn't in the mood. I came back to it by accident and was drawn in by the horrors and wonders of life in New York's Lower East Side just before WWII. The dialogue is convincing, the narration is wonderful and the emergence of the character of the mother, Lil, is astonishing.
The author died at the age of 80 just after finishing the final revisions of this book - her first novel. It is a shame that there won't be a second.
It has never occurred to me to try to get my money back but this narration is intolerable. I am going to delete the book from my library and write to audible to ask for a refund. I am going to be so careful from now on not to listen to anything read by Scott Brick. Anyone considering this book should listen to a preview. He can't do accents, he can't do women, it is impossible to keep the characters straight. It is like listening to a really bad preacher, that sort of whiny tone. .
IMHO here should be a warning alert for books that feature whining rapists and the death of dogs. I don't care how beautifully this story is written I don't want to hear it. If you don't mind, then this book is for you! I am going to explore other books by this author because it is stunningly well written. It relies for its impact upon subjects that I do not wish to consider.
Daemon is a very political tale in the tradition of 1984. All of the reviews I have read miss this point. The ending is extremely appropriate viewed in this light and the story is particularly relevant in the light of our current social/political/economic turmoil. I can see this as a Hollywood movie that would be filled with gratuitous violence and miss the true message. This is a really really good book and lots of fun as well.
This is a stunning novel. Had I read it a few years ago I would still have thought so. But, since it deals with a very specific time in the political history of India, I might have felt more detached than I now do.
Americans would do well to read this book, not only for its intrinsic merits but because it should warn us about the consequences of allowing our own political system to grant itself emergency powers. To me, this is no longer the sort of thing that happens only in "third world" countries.
As Tom Wolfe says in an interview following the book, this is the first novel where his main character is a female. I was perplexed by the other customer reviewer who called this a book about jocks and geeks. I enjoyed the story, but found it to be a disturbing tale about what higher education has become and what it can do to women. This is the story of how Charlotte Simmons becomes someone else. To say who she becomes would give away the very clever ending of the book.
Tom Wolfe remains a shrewd critic of American social mannerisms. I laughed and cringed. Don't miss it, but don't plan to play it on the car radio with those who might be offended by what Wolfe calls the f__ patois.
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