Jex's Reviews > Genesis

Genesis by Bernard Beckett
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's review
Nov 24, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: favs, dystopia, science-fiction, young-adult
Read in January, 2013 , read count: 2

Anaximander has spent countless hours preparing for the test that may change her life. If she performs well, then she will enter the Academy, the most prestigious institution in her society. Through her examination, the story of Adam Forde unfolds showing exactly what happened to create this post-apocalyptic world that they now live in.

This book was much more than I thought it would be. In the beginning, I was put off by the setting of a test panel as I thought that the book would not have much depth with this question/answer paradigm. I was pleasantly surprised as the holograms came into play and the story of Adam and Art began to unfold. The holograms depicted argument after argument of whether or not Art, as a machine, could truly be capable of thought or considered a conscious being. The comparison between the way the human mind works and the way a machine works really makes the reader think about how different the two actually are. Can a machine be capable of conscious thought in the way a human brain can? Can they truly feel emotion and attachment to a human in the same way a human does for another human being? Even in the end of the book you know that a machine can be clever, but can they think?

This book didn't keep me on the edge of my seat, but it did shock me in the end. There was a clear moment where I sat upright and realized that everything I had thought about the book thus far had to be reevaluated. I'm almost tempted to pick it up and reread the story right now to see what all I missed in not knowing what I now know. The last 15 pages or so make the book spectacular, a work of pure genius.
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Quotes Jex Liked

Bernard Beckett
“Unable to attribute misfortune to chance, unable to accept their ultimate insignificance within the greater scheme, the people looked for monsters in their midst.”
Bernard Beckett, Genesis

Bernard Beckett
“I try not to be surprised. Surprise is the public face of a mind that has been closed.”
Bernard Beckett, Genesis

Bernard Beckett
“The only thing binding individuals together is ideas. Ideas mutate and spread; they change their hosts as much as their hosts change them.”
Bernard Beckett, Genesis

Bernard Beckett
“I am not a machine. For what can a machine know of the smell of wet grass in the morning, or the sound of a crying baby? I am the feeling of the warm sun against my skin; I am the sensation of a cool wave breaking over me. I am the places I have never seen, yet imagine when my eyes are closed. I am the taste of another's breath, the color of her hair.
You mock me for the shortness of my life span, but it is this very fear of dying which breathes life into me. I am the thinker who thinks of thought. I am curiosity, I am reason, I am love, and I am hatred. I am indifference. I am the son of a father, who in turn was a father’s son. I am the reason my mother laughed and the reason my mother cried. I am wonder and I am wondrous. Yes, the world may push your buttons as it passes through your circuitry. But the world does not pass through me. It lingers. I am in it and it is in me. I am the means by which the universe has come to know itself. I am the thing no machine can ever make. I am meaning.”
Bernard Beckett, Genesis

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01/11/2013 page 29
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