I finished reading Herland, which is why I picked this book up. I'm not sure I want to read the rest of the short stories and snippets in this volume.I finished reading Herland, which is why I picked this book up. I'm not sure I want to read the rest of the short stories and snippets in this volume. Included is the Yellow Wallpaper, which I've already read several times.
Gilman was writing around 100 years ago and you can sense the age. I've wanted to read Herland for ages, and glad I did. ...more
Here in California we’re having another year of drought. A severe drought. The state is considering drastic measures. Well, not as drastic as what youHere in California we’re having another year of drought. A severe drought. The state is considering drastic measures. Well, not as drastic as what you find in Sherwood Nation. This book’s theme is of water becoming so scare that people are literally dying of thirst and water becomes the measure of wealth. The setting is Portland, Oregon and they are cut off from the rest of the United States. East of the Rockies things may be going better, but that’s not really explored. The National Guard rations food and water given out each day to each citizen at distribution drops. The city has power for only a few hours each day. Work and nearly everything has come to a halt.
What arises is a revolution to start a new way of handling water, food, security and a new way of life. This is Sherwood Nation, a new country within the borders of Portland. The unlikely leader is named Maid Marion when on her first heist of intercepting an unmarked water truck with untagged gallons of water she hands out to whomever is around. The news cameras caught the action and show her spreading this wealth that was designed for the rich part of town.
The premise is great. The writing falters a bit though. It focuses on just a few main characters early on then starts adding in more and more points of view, which unties some of the immediacy in the story. We don’t get much on why Renee dubbed Maid Marion does much of what she does, and really I didn’t find her a very believable female character. In fact her boyfriend seemed more feminine. Perhaps that was purposeful, the role reversal but it didn’t ring true for me. Another aspect that kept pulling me out of the story was the timeline. We’d follow a charter along for a while, hours, days maybe a week or two then suddenly pulled back to some other point. The timeline was often confusing. The new nation was building quickly, this new project was now up and running and the response from the citizens were going strong, and then I felt the rug is pulled out when it's stated this all happened in a few days. Really? Okay, my summary isn’t doing it justice, but there was way too much going on in such a short amount of time that it was hard to accept.
In the end I found the book to be enjoyable. It made me look at water in a new way and perhaps that is main point here. We may be heading towards a world where water will be more regulated, at least in some areas. How will that look if we’re rationed to two gallons a day per person, then told that will be cut in half? We waste water like nothing now and one day may regret it. So this book makes you think a little, and will make you thirsty!
Book rating: 4 stars (really 3.5 but rounding up for the utopian ideals) ...more
I like utopian thought, have read several books and give some room for the authors to be more descriptive than in a typical novel. Walden 3.0 is toldI like utopian thought, have read several books and give some room for the authors to be more descriptive than in a typical novel. Walden 3.0 is told in the typical style of explaining the utopian community to an outsider. Oftentimes this method will become dull reading, but since I love utopias I can bear with the labored telling device. Here we definitely have those moments. Perhaps the author tried to spice up the dry exposition, but his attempt failed. I did not like the main character, the outsider, the reporter who was invited to write about the community to give it more exposure. He sexualized every woman he met. And his interruptions with wisecracks or other lame remarks were lame. This was possibly the worst person to have as a spokesperson for a utopian community.
Many aspects to a society is overlooked and not explained in this utopian community. When the chapter on work and business was finished the characters asked if it was understood, the reporter answered yes, but I certainly didn't get it. It hardly explained anything at all. One of the main aspects to a utopia, division of labor! There were many holes and missing pieces.
I did have a hard time with the sexualizing of every female, the reporter being distracted by every woman as he imagines bedding her. Clearly a man/boy wrote this book. The end of the story, the last two chapters were the absolute worst. I did not care one whit about the main character or his liaison to the community, an ex-nun he shagged a few years back.
I could continue on the downsides of this book, but will stop. In all I was sorely disappointed. I was looking forward to an enlightened book about a utopian society that named itself after Walden. Yet nothing here reminds me of Thoreau or what he spoke for, with the exception of humor in life.
I suppose I shouldn’t be entirely negative, there were a couple of good points in the book. Which is why this is not a one star rating. But in the end I cannot recommend this book to anyone, even for fans of utopian reading.
Read part of the book for a class, but I had already bought it. I finished reading the anthology after the class. I did enjoy the various utopian ideaRead part of the book for a class, but I had already bought it. I finished reading the anthology after the class. I did enjoy the various utopian ideas!...more