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The Resisters

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  28 reviews
An audacious marvel of a novel about baseball and a future America, from the always inventive and exciting author of The Love Wife and Who's Irish

The time: a not-so-distant future. The place: AutoAmerica. The land: half under water. The Internet--the new face of government--is "Aunt Nettie": a mix of artificial intelligence, surveillance technology, and pesky maxims. The
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Knopf Publishing Group
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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The Resisters takes place in a world where most jobs have been eliminated due to automation, the world is flooded thanks to climate change, and America is run by a deranged AI people refer to as Aunt Nettie. We follow the lives of one Surplus family, through the eyes of the husband and father, Grant. (Surplus are those people that were deemed unretrainable when Automation took over, and therefore don't work anymore, but are expected to consume via their Living Points, alotted to them via Aunt ...more
Elbrackeen Brackeen
Ann Patchett NYT 9/18/19
Fredrick Danysh
Gwen is a girl that has an amazing pitching arm since birth. Set in a world controlled by artificial intelligence and climate, society is divided into the haves and have-nots. Many of those who have been placed in the lower class by the artificial intelligent computer that controls their lives find small ways to circumvent the rules. This was a free review copy obtained via
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me about 50-60 pages to really get into this novel, but then I couldn’t get enough. The story is creative and it touches on many relevant political/societal/cultural themes — at times more subtly than others. Overall, I’m glad I picked this one up.
Wendy Cosin
I read half of The Resisters before putting it down. It is the USA in the “near future” when everything you imagine could be bad about the Internet, AI, climate change and race/class divides is happening. There wasn't anything particularly surprising about the Internet//AI part of this vision of the future, but the way people lived in a world divided between land and water was interesting, as was the creation of a "Surplus" class of people who receive a minimum stipend to live, but are not ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Baseball is theater. You have to plan your moments.”

Coach makes the above observation when helping Gwen with her in-game pitching strategy, but his words ring true in a broader context for this delightfully bizarre take on Dystopia.

Dystopian is far from my favorite genre, but baseball fiction is one of my most favorite genres, so I decided to give this one a shot. Gish Jen’s lovely New York Times interview also helped me decide to dive in on this one. And I’m so glad I did.

While this book had
Cia Mcalarney
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To say this book is amazing sells it short. The dystopian vision of the future here, is all too plausible -- centered on climate change, the rise of AI and class segregation. Yet the plot, centered on a family of resisters, is hopeful and compelling.

Couldn't put it down. Literally woke up in the middle of the night to finish the last few pages because I couldn't get it out of my mind.

Resistance, family, hope and, oh yes, baseball!
Molly Riportella
Very good, but unable to finish due to required reading- will go back to.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

All I knew going into this book was a) I like Gish Jen, and b) that is a badass cover and title. So I almost don’t want to say anything else about it so you too can be surprised about where it starts, and where it ends up. Here are some tidbits: a near-future dystopia, race and class struggles, a father watching his daughter grow up . . . and baseball. (I am not a person particularly interested in sports, but Jen makes the baseball pretty compelling.) It's
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, read-in-2019
Thanks to the publisher for a free copy to review!

In the not too distant future, the country has been taken over by Aunt Nettie (the Autonet), dividing the population into the producing Netted and the consuming Surplus. As a Surplus, Gwen is constantly monitored by her smart home, though she avoids the mild sedatives in the food because her family has their own vegetable garden. She also has a former professor for a father and a revolutionary lawyer for a mother to home school her, but that's
Melissa Rochelle
I do not like baseball. I never watch it. But I love to read about it. In a distant future America where AI and the Internet have taken control and created two classes-the netted and the surplus-we follow Gwen and her family. Gwen is a pitching prodigy, so her family starts an underground league to give Gwen a chance to really practice her skills and give their Surplus neighbors something to look forward to. Aunt Nettie (aka Autonet, aka all-powerful super computer in charge) discovers Gwen’s ...more
Amber Stewart
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
A great dystopian novel. It is thought-provoking and hard to set down!
Tracy Manaster
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfect games are rare. Perfect books maybe even more so. This one comes awfully close.
To be fair, I am a sucker for two things in literature. The first is a damn good baseball book. The second is a terrifyingly plausible dystopia. And this book? Has both and executes them beautifully.
The baseball writing is imbued with enough pure symbol and meaning to hold tension for people who aren’t familiar with the game. It’s detailed enough for students of the game to thoroughly wonk out on but not so
Lizanne Johnson
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
As someone who watches baseball and enjoys dystopian novels, I had high hopes for this book.

Set in the near future in a world affected by climate change and controlled by AI, the AutoNet, Gwen is a Blasian girl born with a throwing arm that has so much strength and accuracy the she was destined to be a pitcher. However, in AutoAmerica no one plays baseball anymore. Gwen's family is Surplus in a world divided into Surplus (forcibly unemployed, living on water or swamp, not white, nor
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dystopian baseball story with fantastic characters developed and realized to their fullest? An intriguing coming of age tale much paralleling our very own with class disparities and a new century with challenges of ever changing ideas of what work and workers are as well as privacy and surveillance issues? Where morals and ethics are blurred in a world only concerned with consumption and oppression of any kind of dissent or opposing opinion. Characters whose strength is each other, family and ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and delightful read that will make a first rate movie! Think Hunger Games but with baseball instead of archery. First person narrative from pov of our heroine's father Grant who supports the strong women in his life - his brilliant, quixotic lawyer wife Eleanor and brilliant, athletic pitcher daughter, Gwen. There are good guys and bad guys, although everyone is drawn with compassion and we are given reasons for the behavior of the bad guys, so the characters are not completely ...more
The world-building in this is intentional self-conscious in a way that I found a little off-putting at first (an anti-immigrant policy called Ship'EmBack, a country called ChinRussia). Once I got adjusted that, though, I really enjoyed this! Self-aware names aside, the world is a discomfortingly familiar - it's not hard to imagine how it evolved from where we are now. Add to that family that feels vivid and real, and you end up with a novel that's surprisingly moving once it settles into the ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book broke my heart and put it back together again, hopefully, a little wiser and more distrustful of the future. The complex characters felt like family and I couldn't stop reading to find out how they would navigate their difficult circumstances. I also loved that baseball (and knitting) still exist in this sadly prescient dystopia created by Gish Jen. This would be a great choice for a book club or for anyone who enjoys a strong family narrative filled with resistance to an unjust ...more
Marcella Curry
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hesitate to call this dystopian fiction since it implies an imagined future. This novel does imagine our future but the world created by Jen seems spot on to me & awfully terrifying. The characters came to life for me and their actions were quite believable. I'm not a baseball fan and metaphors using baseball as life lessons are lost on me. I ended up feeling there was more baseball than I liked but the characters and their struggles kept me interested.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways-won
This was an enjoyable book about a family living in a lower caste in a dystopian America. Like other reviewers have mentioned, this is a baseball book, which didn't bother me, but be aware if you pick it up. It took me awhile to get through this book, and I think it would have flowed better for me if I had read it in 4 nights vs. a few weeks. My biggest gripe is that a lot of the plot and suspenseful elements are packed into the last 60-100 pages. I won this in a goodreads giveaway.
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating 3.5

Thoughts: Overall the idea was really interesting, but the format wasn't really up my alley. I could have used more details as it felt a bit rushed on the backstory and characters so it was really hard to have any real connections.
Nov 25, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Ann Patchett recommends
Jan 15, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Baseball - eh. Dystopian future - bring it on! Apparently it's brilliant world building and funny. Ann Patchett enjoyed it while touring for The Dutch House. Sounds really good, actually.
Eric Ballein
A nice, well-written dystopian novel with lots of baseball and equal measures of optimism. I really enjoyed this one, and the steadfastness with which it tackles it's difficult themes.
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Feb 03, 2020
K. Witherow
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Feb 06, 2020
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Gish Jen grew up in New York, where she spoke more Yiddish than Chinese. She has been featured in a PBS American Masters program on the American novel. Her distinctions also include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Fulbright fellowship, and a Radcliffe Institute fellowship. She was awarded a Lannan Literary Prize in 1999 and received a Harold and Mildred ...more
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“...even if we returned to the dirt and the wind and the rain like the plants and the animals, we had a bigness in us. Something beyond algorithms and beyond Upgrades-- something we were proud to call human. Or so it seemed to me.” 0 likes
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