Jeffery Anderson's Reviews > World-Mart

World-Mart by Leigh M. Lane
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Mar 14, 2012

really liked it
Read from March 14 to April 25, 2012

If you know of Jane Elliot's famous blue eye/brown eye exercise, or if you are familiar with the Dr. Seuss book, The Sneetches, you won't be able to help manifesting them in your mind when you read Leigh M. Lane's new dystopian work World Mart. Yet, to leave the comparison at that would be to summarily undervalue and oversimplify the work that Lane has given us. World Mart is a solid dystopian novel that fully exercises the classic elements of dystopia, while weaving some nice themes of family structure and social bigotry that drive a plot I viewed as an undeterred freight train, heading toward its dark end.

Meet the Irwin family; George and Virginia - their children, Shelley and Kurt. They exist in a time and place, not quite known. The setting, however will feel warmly familiar to dystopian readers - a corporate run world, where a tough, meager existence is the best one can hope for, and, everything is literally falling to pieces. Eugenics is king and a curious return to lineage and aristocracy makes the society itself stagnant. One is born into a certain class and everything afterward is, more or less, determined by the managerial or worker class that one finds themselves in. Still, everyone in the World Mart society suffers to similar restraints from the dwindling resources that power their quadruplex cities and supply the food and heat. All except for the upper management corporates, who, of course, enjoy the fat and the lean, while their fellow citizens eat cake. At the very bottom of this bottom heavy social pyramid are the deviants, genetically engineered beings from a failed, bygone experiment that were cast down, like Satan, and are treated as such by the rest of the populace. (Hint: They have ice blue eyes.)

George Irwin, an employee of Law-corp, is the consummate corporate man, always concerned with performance and appearance. He lives by the book. His family could be considered to be the Cleavers, or the Huxtables of their time. But all of that changes when a mysterious business card covered in blue powder is slipped into his pocket while he stands in a food line. Lane draws a very imaginative and clever world. Her sense of scene is well honed. I always enjoy finishing a book and carrying away clever portraits in my memory. Lane accomplished this well and I'm still thinking of the garbage fields two days later. I also loved the news associates and the way that they operate in crowded venues. The pace is exciting and quick, at times, I might say, a little rushed. At certain points I wanted Lane to slow down a little and explore the more emotional moments that members of the Irwin family were going through. None-the-less, this is a colorful read, with thought provoking moments. I definitely felt my time was well spent.
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