Actually, at first, I was kind of impressed with Daniel Pinkchbeck. He knows a lot of big words, for one t...moreYeah, I know, but I had to. So. Much. Crack.
Actually, at first, I was kind of impressed with Daniel Pinkchbeck. He knows a lot of big words, for one thing. And how to sling them around. Son of an NYC artist and a NYC writer... he was bound to wind up a little pretentious around the edges. But he makes up for it by doubting himself at every turn. Because he's also neurotic. Just the right kind of person to injest copious amounts of hallucinogens. Oh, and then combine extensive reading in the subject of shamanism, the use of hallucinogens, mystic visionary writings, etc. Throw in a giant cauldron. Set the cauldron down in the middle of the Burning Man Festival. Set it on fire. Run far far away.
Pinchbeck manages to draw together threads from every New Age, LSD inspired, culturally appropriated, loonie hippie pipe dream he stumbles across. Crop circles (check). Meso-American Mythology (check), Rudolph Steiner (check), Carlos Castaneda (check), Aleister Crowley (check), African iboga boogie men (check), Free Love (check), the "noosphere" (THE WHAT? IS THAT A COW RELIGION???) check check checkity check check.
Dudes, seriously, this guy is a few screws loose of having a running tractor.
I mean, he does try and make up for it by adding in disclaimers that he may be entirely wrong about every single theory he entertains. But he does entertain them. He sits all these wacked out theories down around a tiny, painted table and serves them tea and crumpets. Then he pushes everything off the table and dances naked in his underwear.
It's not a pretty sight, I promise you.
But what the hell. The portions of the book that I managed to plow through without having to set it down and laugh until my abdomen hurt were pretty entertaining. I think some of his research has validity... in that I do believe in shamanism, and the energies that it works with. But the edge he, and others like him, take it to are of the ridiculous IMHO.
So... Joe Bob sez check it out if you are looking for some crack. Or to know what it's like to drop so much acid that your brain turns to gluons without actually damaging your cerebral cortex.(less)
Damn. That was a good read. I have to say I was a little reluctant in the early stages of the book. He builds the tale so slowly, and you really have...moreDamn. That was a good read. I have to say I was a little reluctant in the early stages of the book. He builds the tale so slowly, and you really have no idea who these characters are. But as the layers unfold and you begin to burrow to the heart of the book... I have to say I'm impressed. Mister Palahniuk is all that and a bag of chips. He kind of reminds me of Tom Robbins... but the cynical, perverted version. There are echoes of the themes that run through Fight Club. He has a very subtle bone to pick. I never felt like I was being bludgeoned over the head with it though. I have to say the imagery in the last chapters of the book had me laughing even while unspeakable things took place. He's good at that.
It's not much of an Apocalypse story, except on a personal level for the character and the world he emerged from. But that in and of itself is interesting. There are little, mini Apocali happening all over the place. And the end... deftly done.
So... It didn't exactly rock my foundations... but it was a damn good read. And I greatly esteem Mister P. I'd totally buy him a cup of coffee.(less)
I give up... I can't actually finish the final chapters of this book. I speed read it and that's as good as it's gonna get. Too bad, because I was rea...moreI give up... I can't actually finish the final chapters of this book. I speed read it and that's as good as it's gonna get. Too bad, because I was really riveted by this book for the first 90% of it. I just don't think the author managed to carry that through to the end. Somewhere after the blind Japanese character's chapter I started to get antsy for the book to either ramp it up a notch or to just be over now.
I think the style of writing worked well throughout most of the book but finally was the undoing of the overall story. It climaxed in odd places, and then the tension was lost. There are plenty of punches... plenty of places in the story where I cringed and felt like a truck had hit me... that feeling ought to have been brought to a fever pitch near the end. Although, it occurs to me that maybe he was trying to get the feel of the Z War... how it kind of went on forever and maybe was never going to be over.
Ultimately it's a great read, even though I lost interest at the end. I think he did a great job of researching different cultures around the world and portraying how each of them might fare in a zombie apocalypse. So much was chilling and realistic. I literally could not sleep at night for the three days I was reading the bulk of the story. It had been a long time since a book creeped me out that bad. Maybe when I read HotZone... but that was non-fiction.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, or I Am Legend.
This is the bleakest book I have ever crawled inside. When I wake up in the morning after having gone to sleep reading it, it's as if the grit of ashe...moreThis is the bleakest book I have ever crawled inside. When I wake up in the morning after having gone to sleep reading it, it's as if the grit of ashes is still caught in my eyelashes. The desperation of the man clutches around my heart. I have known that horror and loss of hope, if only for fleeting moments. I know the chasm this character teeters at the edge of. Oh this is the abyss we all frantically, busily keep ourselves distracted from knowing. Cormac McCarthy drags us through it, unflinchingly. I hate him for that. But now that I'm inside of it I can't look away. I'm almost grateful for the luxury of despair this book wallows in. The fact that the cover of the book is black and unadorned is perfect. Warning: this is not a gay romp.
I'll let you know how the rest is when I'm finished... but I'm pretty sure there are going to be no happy endings. There have been no happy beginnings or middles, so... pffft. Don't think so.
ETA: and indeed, I was right. No happy endings. But it wasn't as bleak as it could have been. For that, I am grateful. Really one of the most important reads of our age.(less)
this is one of the best dystopic/futuristic/apocalytic fics I've read so far. Definitely right up my pessimistic little alley.
the relationship between...morethis is one of the best dystopic/futuristic/apocalytic fics I've read so far. Definitely right up my pessimistic little alley.
the relationship between Snowman (protagonist) and Crake gleams with repressed homoeroticism, which adds a tension to the story that is more compelling than it would be otherwise. Complicated even further by their relationship with Oryx, it turns a blaring light on the flaws which drive humans to damage the world the way we do: jealousy, arrogance, revenge, lust, greed, apathy.
the science behind the scenario is well-researched (as one would expect from Ms. Atwood). I found this tale to be less overtly bleak than "Handmaid's Tale". However, the images of genetic engineering gone awry are not for the squeamish. One thing I don't want to be when I grow up is a pigoon. Nor do I wish to consume any Chickie Nobs. :::shudder:::
This book is the poster child for what we ought to avoid. The cynicals in the crowd may speculate it's our future. It certainly is a candidate for shadows yet to come. Oh that we are smarter than that.(less)
**spoiler alert** Holy fuck. This book will make you want to wash your hands... a lot. Also, you may feel compelled to go out and purchase your own HA...more**spoiler alert** Holy fuck. This book will make you want to wash your hands... a lot. Also, you may feel compelled to go out and purchase your own HAZMAT suit. Try not to read this book before bed. It may cause some unsettling dreams. Like... dreams about your internal organs liquifying and bleeding out of your eyeballs. I don't know, I found that kind of unsettling. This book has singlehandedly accomplished my vow to never visit Africa. Mostly because Africa is a giant continent filled with monkey pox and malarial insects. Does that make me a big namby pamby puddin head? That's okay. I'm comfortable with that. I'm fine with staying places on the globe where I'm less likely to scrape my hand on bat guano and die a horrible, convulsive, putrifying death 36 hours later. I'm funny that way.
Also, in combination with the book 'The Coming Plague' by Laurie Garrett, with reading this I became convinced that our destruction as a species will come not at the tragedy of nuclear annihilation, which I had feared my entire conscious life... but instead through tiny, virulent microorganisms which will become eternally mutating flesh-eating death machines, ripping through our communities until there's nothing left but rotting jelly. I have felt much more relaxed about life since then.