A genre bender like only David Mitchell can do. Highly recommended.
I like this precise little summary of the last few decades told from a near apocalA genre bender like only David Mitchell can do. Highly recommended.
I like this precise little summary of the last few decades told from a near apocalyptic future:
"What else has changed since 1984?"
"Oils running out," I say..."Earth's population is eight billion, mass extinctions of flora and fauna are commonplace, climate change is foreclosing the Holocene Era. Apartheid's dead, as are the Castros in Cuba, as is privacy. The USSR went bankrupt; the Eastern Bloc collapsed; Germany reunified; the EU has gone federal; China's a powerhouse--though their air is industrial effluence in a gaseous state--and North Korea is still a gulag run by a coiffured cannibal. The Kurds have a de facto state; it's Sunni verus Shia'a throughout the Middle East; the Sri Lankan Tamils got butchered; the Palestinians still have to eke out a living off Israel's garbage dumps. People outsourced their memories to data centers and basic skills to tabs. On the eleventh of September 2001, Saudi Arabian hijackers flew two airliners into the Twin Towers. As a result Afghanistan and Iraq got invaded and occupied by lots of American and a few British troops. Inequality is truly Pharaonic. The worlds' twenty-seven richest people own more wealth than the poorest five billion, and people accept that as normal. On the bright side, there's more computing power in Arkady's slate than existed in the world when you last walked in; an African American president occupied the White House for two terms; and you can now buy strawberries at Christmas."
"Wow. Look at all these books. It's rare to see so many, these days."
"Books'll be back," Esther-in-Unalaq predicts. "Wait till the power grids start failing in the late 2030s...It's not far away. The future looks a lot like the past."
I liked this book lots and am glad that I read it. I'm also glad that so many people are reading and talking about it--the message, "Choose kindness"I liked this book lots and am glad that I read it. I'm also glad that so many people are reading and talking about it--the message, "Choose kindness" is one that I'll never tire of. I liked the range of views on Auggie's situation (Auggie, Jack, Via, Justin, and Summer) and the mash-up of early middle school and high school perspectives. However, I sometimes felt a twinge of doubt when hearing some of the voices. August seemed really young for a ten year old and the parents' dialogue too often sounded like an after school special. That is minor, though, relative to the amazing conversations this book will inspire. ...more
I read this book in two delicious gulps, interrupted only by the work day. The main characters are rich WASPy cousins plus a non-white tag-along/loveI read this book in two delicious gulps, interrupted only by the work day. The main characters are rich WASPy cousins plus a non-white tag-along/love interest who spend their summers on a private island off of Martha's Vineyard. The privilege is a bit much, but it's also kind of fun if you've ever fantasized about having a trust fund and a family compound on an island. I think the author does a great job of interrogating the perils of privilege and keeping readers on their toes with various mysteries and gaps in the narrative. Probably not a book that my students will be able to relate to, but a good interruption of any fantasies about the awesomeness of being rich. ...more