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A New Year's Tale

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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Sometime in the near future, the U.S. government discovers that it doesn't have enough money to cover Social Security and Medicare. Thus are born the new Senior Laws. These are aimed at making sure no one lives much past age sixty-five. The Diminished Culpability Act, for example, states that if you kill someone aged twenty-one, you go to prison for life. But if you kill a ...more
Kindle Edition, 1st., 320 pages
Published March 3rd 2013 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
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Kris Heywood
Sep 04, 2013 Kris Heywood rated it it was amazing
How can you give Nancy Farmer anything less than five stars? A New Year's Tale is chuckful of great senior jokes. I loved each one of them. It's also full of her trademark African-tinged magic realism, which I fell in love with while reading The Ear, the Eye and the Arm. Her characters are humane and lovable, the situation is dire, but they will succeed not only to save themselves but to save their whole country. I like the image of the president being an ever changing digital image, depending ...more
Eric Stout
Oct 03, 2013 Eric Stout rated it it was amazing
Wow, this brilliant fantasy is more than fantasy. It's an immensely topical satire on the plight of "retired" people--but it's hopeful too and offers solutions. The writing is dazzling, consistently witty, poignant and unexpected. The characters—including both the living and the dead—are a riot. There's the eccentric entomologist, Cubby, the sensitive and heroic ex-janitor, Tom, who's inspired by the tribal gods of Africa, Frietchie, the hairdresser still on hormonal overdrive in her sixties, ...more
Cathy Douglas
Jul 29, 2013 Cathy Douglas rated it really liked it
This was a goofy book, but in a pointed way. It takes a pretty crazy-ass poke at a future where automation and laziness have taken over the country, and the automation is all set to dictate a policy of systematic extermination of "elders." Ultimately it's a ridiculous premise, but some of the details along the way ring true in a disturbing way.

It was great to read a novel full of old people. If you were making a movie version of this book, you'd want to cast it entirely with character actors. Th
...more
Joy
Apr 27, 2015 Joy rated it really liked it
Nancy Farmer wrote this book for adults. I got it off Amazon for 99 cents.

In the future, Social Security has been abolished because young people no longer want to support their elders. The new Senior Laws force people to retire at age 65 and give them very few rights. Cubby Willows and Tom Seaworthy both turn 65 and are forced to retire, entering the strange new world where no one cares about them. They meet new friends on their way and get help from various spirits.

This book has quite a few li
...more
Jane
Mar 20, 2014 Jane rated it liked it
Nancy Farmer is the American Neil Gaiman. Here she creates a dystopia in which anyone over 65 is at risk of being eliminated. The government is run by opinion polls, Hitler-esque youth groups roam the streets, and "Joy Meadows" retirement homes turn out to have sinister intentions. Her protagonists are a satisfyingly odd assortment of avatars: an unworldly scientist who talks to dead people; a beauty parlor owner who radiates the power of sexuality; a maintenance man who's related to the old ...more
Aaron Kappel
May 31, 2013 Aaron Kappel rated it it was amazing
I was swept away, and I fell in love with each character. They were endearing, thoroughly developed; rich with passion, life, and integrity. A beautiful, witty, compelling story. I highly recommend it!
Greymalkin
Jul 22, 2013 Greymalkin rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
An interesting premise, the ending was a little too pat, but the characters were generally fun and quirky. Felt a bit like "Cocoon" the movie.
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Nancy was born in 1941 in Phoenix and grew up in a hotel on the Arizona-Mexico border where she worked the switchboard at the age of nine. She also found time to hang out in the old state prison and the hobo jungle along the banks of the Colorado River. She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning her BA in 1963. Instead of taking a regular job, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to ...more
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“CUBBY ORDERED an express food delivery in the morning.  It cost extra, but he wasn’t worried about money.  His parents had left him well-off.  How well-off he didn’t know, never having inquired into the matter.  Month by month, year by year, a firm of accountants took his money to clubs on Wall Street where investments of easy virtue lounged.  At least that was how Cubby understood it.  It was a kind of escort service for money, though how the escorts reproduced was a mystery to him.  The same accountants handled his insurance, his tax and now his senior security.  His parents had set up the system when he was in college because they wanted him to concentrate on his studies. And Cubby had concentrated.  He graduated summa cum laude at Harvard, achieving a Ph.D. with a dissertation on synchronized flashing in fireflies. (This little-known phenomenon occurs in the mountains of Tennessee.  It is the insect equivalent of a rock concert.  The male fireflies show up around 8:30 p.m., flashing on and off, watching one another to get the tempo right.  The females, hot little groupies that they are, observe from the ground.  By 9 p.m. the males are flashing in unison and the females go wild.)” 0 likes
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