Great concept, terrible execution! Misogynistic homophobic drivel. Childish dialogue. The author obviously didn't even have a rudimentary understandinGreat concept, terrible execution! Misogynistic homophobic drivel. Childish dialogue. The author obviously didn't even have a rudimentary understanding of either biology or psychology. Apparently millions of years of instinct are invalidated simply by raising an animal, in this case a human, away from its natural environment. Far too dated, it's a book about the 60's and there's absolutely no mistaking it.
Maybe this had some social relevance when it was written, but it fails on all other counts....more
An IRA bomb kills the wife and children of an American microbiologist. He goes crazy and engineers a disease that only kills women and releases it inAn IRA bomb kills the wife and children of an American microbiologist. He goes crazy and engineers a disease that only kills women and releases it in Ireland (for revenge), England (for oppressing the Irish and giving them a cause), and Libya (for training and supplying the IRA terrorists). Of course diseases don't respect political boundaries and soon nearly the entire world is infected.
A fascinating "what if?" character-driven story. Much of the novel takes place in Ireland, and Herbert does a fantastic job of not only putting the Irish accent to paper, but is extremely adept at painting a visual picture of the idyllic green Ireland which is a stark contrast to the horrors taking place around the world.
This was published in 1982, and it shows. Which isn't to say this doesn't hold up well, rather the reader simply has to accept this as a novel of its time. The Soviet Union and Berlin Wall still exist, research facilities only have one computer with access allocated, and microbiology has advanced a lot in the past 30 years.
The pacing near the end felt somewhat rushed. It almost seemed like Herbert cut extraneous chapters without going back and adding the missing details to the extant chapters... e.g. one moment particular characters are in Ireland, suddenly they're in England with no mention of a trip....more
Those who've read Dune will recognize many of the themes in The Jesus Incident: leadership and how leaders manipulate society, scarcity of resources,Those who've read Dune will recognize many of the themes in The Jesus Incident: leadership and how leaders manipulate society, scarcity of resources, civil/human/individual rights, ecology, and religion. Though this book is called The Jesus Incident, and includes a scene in which one of the characters witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, this is not a "Christian fiction" novel, and the religious themes are not overwhelming. Rather, their inclusion is a vehicle to demonstrate religious violence and the brutality of which humans are capable.
This novel can be read on its own as the start of The Pandora Sequence trilogy, or read after Destination: Void. As another reviewer wrote, Destination: Void is to The Pandora Sequence as The Hobbit is to The Lord of the Rings. While both trilogies can be enjoyed well enough without reading their precursor novels, you'll probably enjoy them more if you do.
The Jesus Incident is one of Herbert's best works, and very under-appreciated. Though it's arguably not as good as Dune, it is still a great book. The Jesus Incident was also the basis for the movie Avatar.
The ebook version, published by Wordfire Press, is unfortunately riddled with errors. It appears to be a scan with simple OCR run on it and absolutely no proofreading. ...more
The Lazarus Effect continues the story of the planet Pandora set forth in The Jesus Incident, At the end of The Jesus Incident, the sentient kelp hadThe Lazarus Effect continues the story of the planet Pandora set forth in The Jesus Incident, At the end of The Jesus Incident, the sentient kelp had been obliterated. The Lazarus Effect is set several centuries later; the entire world is covered by ocean and the descendants of Jesus Lewis' genetic manipulations are working to restore the kelp.
As is typical in a Herbert novel, The Lazarus Effect explores various ideas and themes: humanity, survival, evolution, leadership, psychology, politics, ecology, and religion.
As with Destination: Void and The Jesus Incident, the formatting of the Wordfire Press ebook edition of this novel is pathetic. Broken paragraphs, multiple paragraphs merged into one (particularly in dialogue sequences), a couple instances of several words strung together without a space between...etc. It's certainly not unreadable, by any stretch of the imagination, just disappointing (although some of the joined paragraphs in dialogue can be slightly confusing)....more
Good plot, great characterizations, excellent atmosphere, interesting exploration of metaphysical concepts. Terrible non-sensical techno-jargon.
DestinGood plot, great characterizations, excellent atmosphere, interesting exploration of metaphysical concepts. Terrible non-sensical techno-jargon.
Destination: Void precedes The Pandora Sequence (the trilogy that starts with The Jesus Incident), though this book is not necessary to one's enjoyment of the later trilogy.
A particular annoyance, for me, in this novel was the sub-plot in which Prudence explores psychotropic drugs in an effort to...? What? Whatever effect or discovery she was trying to make could not possibly be translated from a biological system (her body) to the computer consciousness the crew was trying to create. This didn't seem to serve any purpose other than a glorification of mind-altering drugs. Herbert later explored this concept much more successfully throughout his Dune novels.
The particular ebook I purchased through Barnes & Noble, published by Wordfire Press, was by far the most horribly edited and formatted ebook I've ever seen. Maybe the Smashwords edition is better, but I will never again purchase another Wordfire Press ebook from B&N given how horrifically shoddy this ebook was. Someone, somewhere, should be ashamed of themselves for letting this reach the public in the state it's in....more