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Preview — Genesis by Bernard Beckett
A stunning debut novel that's as rich in ideas as it is in suspense, destined to become a modern classic of post-apocalyptic literature
Anax thinks she knows history. Her grueling all-day Examination has just begun, and if she passes, she’ll be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society. But Anax is about to discover that for all he...more
5.0 stars. Okay folks, this is a must read alert. I was expecting this to be decent but I was blown away by how excellent it turned out to be. Focused, powerful and imaginative. This one is a keeper.
As many others have said (but it is certainly worth repeating) this should not be considered a YA novel. Yes, the protagonist is a teenage girl, but that is the only YA connection to this story. This has much more in common with 1984 than Harry Potter.
This is a superbly realized and eerily believa ...more
This is what I call an "experience" book.
You may not find yourself inside the world like in an "escapism" story, instead you feel as if your viewing it from the outside. It's intent is to help you reflect upon and experience your own life, not necessarily that of the characters. Another more well-known example of this type of book would be 1984.
You breath on your own instead of with the characters. You are able to see the story more objectively, with ...more
"The only thing binding individuals together is ideas. Ideas mutate, and spread; they change their hosts as much as their hosts change them."Normally I don't care much for spoilers. I can even pompously say that it's the journey I care about, not the destination. (Believe it or not, in the p ...more
Well, this must be my lucky week. Reading two 5-star books one after another is not something that often happens to me. Of course, I love reading 5-star books, but the problem I have is reviewing them, because I always feel like what I say is not going to do the fantastic books justice.
Genesis was recommended to me about a week ago from a friend on Goodreads. I actually had never even heard of it until then. Usually when a friend recommends a book it takes me a few months to get to it. My friend ...more
I strongly recommend Mel's beautiful and moving review of this book. We both loved it, and tried really hard to explain why without spoiling the story.
There are many other exceptional reviews from friends and others, and I would never have known about it without their guidance. My thanks to all.
June 19, 2012
(Pre-review) - Thanks so much to all who supported and commented on this (now slightly edited) lead-in! My full review follows this section.
I absolutely loved it. Plopped it stra ...more
The setting of the novel is indeed dystopian and the main character is a teen, but other than that Genesis has little to do with YA dystopian genre. It is a novel of ideas, philosophical even. Its main focus is the genesis of consciousness in AI (artif ...more
I don't even know how to begin reviewing this book. I fear that anything I describe about the book has the potential to ruin it for anyone reading this reviews. And to do that would be a huge disservice to this book. Because believe me when I say it was truly remarkable.
There are three things I believe I am safe to say. (1) The main character's name is Anax. (2) The book is basically her interview with a panel for acceptance into The Academy. (3) It is a dystopian type book. (4) It's not a long ...more
Ok, so 3.5 stars actually. Maybe 4 but I've decided to be picky.
I was greatly torn as to my opinion on this book, it's a very confusing and weird read at times and not even remotely what I expected when I read the description.
The novel consists entirely of a 4-hour oral exam on a specialist subject of ...more
What on Earth did I just read? Was that a speech or a novel? Was that a YA book or one written for adults? Was the character... Well no I can't give that away for prospective readers. This is a book that has to be read without anything spoiling the plot (I will still provide a non-spoiling summary). What I will say is that if you've read Planet of the Apes before then read this. This novel is something of a YA version of that with a bit of a twist.
Genesis is not written in the usual form of othe ...more
It opens with Anax, a young girl who has chosen to sit the examination for The Academy. She has selected Adam Forde as her subject, and must now survive rigorous questioning about his life and history, thes ...more
A girl named Anax has been given the chance to take a 4-hour oral exam to interview for entrance into The Academy. The book is the ...more
This must have been the easiest five stars I’ve ever given a book. And that includes Stephen King’s works of genius, too. ...more
Which came first, the mind or the idea of the mind? Have you never wondered? They arrived together. The mind is an idea. ~Genesis
In the end, living is defined by dying~Genesis
Wow, wow and more wow! I have been swept away and truly humbled by this little book that's filled with such big ideas. The blurb on my edition calls it "sinewy" and "cerebral" and for me, that hits it just right.
I want to start by first giving a shout out to Stephen; his unbridled enthusiasm for this book is what brought i ...more
The book description (a post-apocalyptic, plague ridden world, an elite Academy who interviews young applicants to maintain a crime-free society) is simple fodder for a short book that is simply packed with philosophical debate about consciousness and individuality.
As the main character started her interview, I ...more
I thought I had it figured out. I've read a lot of dystopia and I know the patterns by now, and I saw a few of them here so I assumed that I understood how it would end. Wrong. This book is abnormal, and in being so it is also extraordinary and shocking and wierd and fascinating and powerful. The question i ...more
Firstly, I owe a huge thank you to Lyndsey's review for inspiring me to read this because HOLY CRAP, HOOOOLY CRAP! This is the dystopian book to end all dystopian books. Doesn't matter if you think this sort of thing isn't for you, or if you're disillusioned with the genre.
At the very least this book will make you THINK. Think about the state of humanity, its limi ...more
Occasionally it's good to step outside your preferred genre and read something different. Genesis, while not actually entertaining, is certainly interesting. On the surface the book is a bit dry, as the story unfolds as an interview. Set in the future, the main character Anaximander is being interviewed for a place at The Academy. The book is heavy on philosophy, the history of this world, the meaning of life and humanity.
I liked it, though didn't love it. I found it appealing but not e ...more
This is the state of the world inGenesis.
Guards on the island have been instructed to terminateon site anything they see floating on the water. If they hesitate, they are alsoterminated. The people on the island construct for themselves a Sparta-like dystopian society and government called The Republic to ma ...more
I got this book on a booksale, I read the back of it and thought that I, as a philosophy student, couldn't, mustn't, pass it up. And for a philosophy student, or for anyone with even the slightest interest in philosophy this book is gold.
It's basically one long conversation (or examination), exactly like most of Plato's works, and it works extremely well. It's kind of a case of "What if we took ancient philosophy and put it in a dystopian (utopian?) future?". I love it.
It's al ...more
I'm tempted to bust out the anecdote about the day I argued cognitive ...more
What a truly remarkable read it was.
This is definitely one of those books that will stay with you. I read a lot of fluffy, escapist books. This is not one of them. Genesis made me think. It's only 150 pages, but I savored each o ...more
After 5 or 6 pages, I realized this interview format was going to continue throughout most of the book. Not being a fan of lengthy narrative, especially the kind that tells the reader the story, I put it down. Then I did something I've never done: I read the last page.
Hooked. I finished the book that day.
Beckett carved a story within a story, both of which become engrossing. But the most powerful part of this story is the dialog between Art and Adam. Witty, sharp and f ...more
|Future Wastelands: June 2014 - Genesis||1||11||May 31, 2014 02:27PM|
|DOES THIS BOOK ACTUALLY HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE BIBLE?!||5||91||Jul 29, 2013 06:22AM|
|Young Adult Book ...: Final Thoughts on Genesis||24||83||Mar 30, 2013 05:11PM|
|Young Adult Book ...: Artifical Intelligence||9||34||Mar 24, 2013 09:23AM|
|Young Adult Book ...: Initial Thoughts on Genesis||18||55||Mar 24, 2013 09:23AM|
|Young Adult Book ...: What is it to be human?||2||27||Mar 03, 2013 10:38PM|
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You mock me for the shortness of my life span, but it is this very fear of dying which breathes life into me. I am the thinker who thinks of thought. I am curiosity, I am reason, I am love, and I am hatred. I am indifference. I am the son of a father, who in turn was a father’s son. I am the reason my mother laughed and the reason my mother cried. I am wonder and I am wondrous. Yes, the world may push your buttons as it passes through your circuitry. But the world does not pass through me. It lingers. I am in it and it is in me. I am the means by which the universe has come to know itself. I am the thing no machine can ever make. I am meaning.”