2014 re-read: Most dystopian novels focus on a post-apocalyptic society, but Huxley presents a future where society itself chooses its path. Setting as...more2014 re-read: Most dystopian novels focus on a post-apocalyptic society, but Huxley presents a future where society itself chooses its path. Setting aside the science and looking only at the social structure, is it so far-fetched to imagine a future where people choose endless pleasure, youth, and instant gratification over self-denial and intellectual pursuits?
Ignorance is bliss. If we were never exposed to art or religion, would we really miss them? I find it noteworthy that Huxley's narrative focuses on educated high-class characters. Among the gammas, deltas, and epsilons, one can imagine that they're satisfied with their situation, having been conditioned to it (both physically and mentally).
Although my job is mentally challenging, I enjoy it because it's something in good at. Part of that is my own aptitude and part is conditioning and training. I know that there are other (better paying) jobs that I am qualified to do but would not be as good at and therefore enjoy less. I can't help but wonder what a world would be like where everyone fell into the most appropriate niche.(less)
It seems a rare thing these days for a dystopian YA trilogy to end on a high note, but Cass wraps up her Bachelor/Hunger Games/Princess Diaries mash-u...moreIt seems a rare thing these days for a dystopian YA trilogy to end on a high note, but Cass wraps up her Bachelor/Hunger Games/Princess Diaries mash-up in style (fit for a princess, no less). Of course we all knew from Day 1 where this story was going, but in its third installment, the tale isn't completely obvious in how it's getting there.
It's still full of the frilly dresses and princess glamour one would expect, but The One stirs in a bit more politics and responsibility than its predecessors. It's still a fairy-tale at heart, however, so don't expect any earth-shattering insights or scoff at its neatly packaged ending. For a light escapist read, it's quick and satisfying.(less)
Although Lafleur's first book could certainly benefit from professional editing, there's no question that she writes with a unique voice and a fantast...moreAlthough Lafleur's first book could certainly benefit from professional editing, there's no question that she writes with a unique voice and a fantastic sense of humor. At varying times inspiring, insightful, and informative, above all else her narratives make the reader laugh out loud and admire the strength it takes to find humor in some of life's most desperate situations.
I eagerly await her next collection and would love to see what she could produce with the help of a good editor.(less)
I love the concept of this book, and I appreciate the collection of different anecdotes, since everyone responds to things so differently. It's easy t...moreI love the concept of this book, and I appreciate the collection of different anecdotes, since everyone responds to things so differently. It's easy to make assumptions based on a single experience, and reading so many varied opinions and stories underscore the idea that everyone needs an individual approach.
The book does seem to have a noticeable bias towards alternative healing, which is not surprising, given that this seems to align with the author's preferences.
Overall, it was a short and thought-provoking book, but it's more of a title to read part of and keep on your shelf in case you need the rest. Unless you are very involved in a serious illness, it's unlikely that you would find all of the chapters useful.(less)
Enjoyable, but forgettable. The premise for this novel is great, but unfortunately the writing is a bit hit or miss. It's not terrible, especially for...moreEnjoyable, but forgettable. The premise for this novel is great, but unfortunately the writing is a bit hit or miss. It's not terrible, especially for a first book, but it did detract from the overall effect. While some of the characters are spot on, others feel forced and disappointingly artificial.
Overall, I simply wanted more from this book. The concept and the characters are exciting and innovative, but the novel as a whole fell a little flat.
I will offer accolades for a realistic portrayal of programming in fiction. Unlike many authors, Stephens clearly has some experience with the subject. Printing source code and reading it in hard copy may be rather exceptional, but considering I've done it once or twice myself, I can't be overly critical!
I cannot be as positive about the Brilliance Audio narration. I've seen people rave about it, and the pace and clarity were excellent. Luke Daniels does a great job in the narration, but while he manages to give each character a unique voice, some of them were extremely distracting. His interpretation of Foster constantly sounded like a buffoon, and Katarina was a complete brat. I felt that one of the strengths of the novel was its multi-layered characters, and this performance undermined that.(less)