Lyndsey's Reviews > Genesis

Genesis by Bernard Beckett
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Aug 30, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: i-recommend, reviewed-2010, reviewed-5-stars, about-dystopia-or-utopia, novellas, favorites, experience, pov-alternating, genre-science-fiction, worldbuilding-whimsy
Recommended for: Dystopian lovers, Those who just don't quite have the attention span for 1984, yet.
Read in January, 2010

Kindle edition is on sale for about $5 HERE!!

This is what I call an "experience" book.

You may not find yourself inside the world like in an "escapism" story, instead you feel as if your viewing it from the outside. It's intent is to help you reflect upon and experience your own life, not necessarily that of the characters. Another more well-known example of this type of book would be 1984.

You breath on your own instead of with the characters. You are able to see the story more objectively, without having unhealthy attachments to the characters. You don't think "If something happens to the this character, I will never forgive the author." You are still invested, but not so much so that it clouds your judgement.

An experience novel asks you to logically consider the story and it's implications. It asks you to experience. It asks you to think.

Genesis is truly incredible! You will probably either be completely put off by it or you will be blown away by it. I was one of the latter. Either way, it WILL make you think about why we exist and the implications of that existence.

Here is a partial synopsis from the publishers:

Set on a remote island in a post-apocalyptic, plague-ridden world, this electrifying novel is destined to become a modern classic.

Anax thinks she knows her history. She’d better. She’s now facing three Examiners, and her grueling all-day Examination has just begun. If she passes, she’ll be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society.

But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And that the Academy isn’t what she believes it to be.

I usually go for longer books or series books, but this is a unlikely exception. It makes me wish that there were more of these well thought-out, groundbreaking novellas. If anyone has a recommendation of something similar, well plotted short books, I would love to hear about it.

I really think everyone should read it, especially considering it's a meager 150 pages and manages to raise philosophical arguments and tell a complete dystopian story in those few pages. You'll either love it or hate it, but either way, it will make your brain melt.

I wouldn't exactly call this book fast-paced, but that is why it's short length is perfect! The overall experience of a book is sometimes what makes or breaks it's rating. And a lot of times the ending can make all the difference.

I just want to make perfectly clear that the ending of this book is, without a doubt, the most impactful ending I have EVER read in any book. I am not exaggerating.

Ever since finishing it, I have been aching for a book to send my mind spinning as much as this one did. I so want to experience another read like this or go back in time and experience this one again.

Edit: It has been well over a year since I read this book and I still think about it constantly. It's so so memorable and it should only take a couple hours at most to read.

If you are discouraged by the state of so-called dystopian books lately, I beg you to read this book. I don't care if you buy it, borrow it from the library, or sit down in the store and read it (which is totally fine, right?) - just READ it. Add it to your "must read now" bookshelf. If you don't have a bookshelf called that, create it now. :-) You know you want too.

This book is only 150 pages long, but well worth those few pages. If you think that you'll like Genesis, it may be a great investment for you.

I cannot say enough about this book and give it my highest possible recommendation. Yes, I know that I'm really pimping this book hard, but I can't help it. It is incredibly profound and really captured my attention and hasn't let go. But now, it's up to you...

And please, please, please. If you are even a tad interested in this book, don't read anything else about it. Just go read it. It is so much better if you have no idea what to expect.
98 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Genesis.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-48 of 48) (48 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Catie Wow! This has been on my to-read for a while. I will definitely bump it up! Thanks.

Flannery Way to repost it so as to stick it to me. I heard ya! ;-)

Lyndsey Lol, I rewrote most of it because I think my earlier version was crap. :P

Flannery It wasn't. I remember loving it--but there is no option to 'love' something.

message 5: by willaful (new)

willaful Very interesting review.

message 6: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 11, 2011 07:45PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars


Lyndsey Go ahead, click it. I dare you. (view spoiler)

Lyndsey Thanks Willa!!

And as a side note - is it weird that I tried "clicking" the button even though I posted it myself and knew nothing would happen. It just looked so fun...

Flannery Total letdown. (the clicking and the spoiler)

Lyndsey Gaaaaawd, you're so needy!

(view spoiler)

Flannery Dear Not Needy,

Today I had to catch up on the DVR eps I missed, do my laundry, and run tons of boring errands. I'm still near the beginning of Season 5. And I am still creeped out thinking about the "Hush" episode.

The Buffy Virgin (not for much longer)

Lyndsey Lame. Excuses, excuses.

Nomes awesome review.

I've been meaning to read this as I LOVE kiwi YA :) Now I have to actually get around to doing something about finding a copy :D

Lyndsey Yeah, it's actually fairly difficult to find. At least in stores. I was lucky and found one copy at B&N. But I didn't buy it :-( I should have. Instead, I cheated and just sat down in one of their comfy chairs and read it all in the store. Now I wish I had bought it. That's what I get for being so cheap!

Catie Just got the audio from my library :)

message 16: by Amazon80 (last edited Mar 12, 2011 06:40AM) (new)

Amazon80 Flannery wrote: "Dear Not Needy,

Today I had to catch up on the DVR eps I missed, do my laundry, and run tons of boring errands. I'm still near the beginning of Season 5. And I am still creeped out thinking about ..."

When Netflix first came out I did the entire Buffy series in one summer. The "Hush" episode is by far the freakiest Buff episode ever. The smiley surgeons were scarier then jokers and clowns. *shiver*
Best episodes ever...evil Willow

message 17: by Amazon80 (new)

Amazon80 This sounds like a great one to read with my boyfriend now that he's no longer convinced all I read is books with bare chested men on them ;-)

message 18: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 12, 2011 09:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Yes, Amazon, read it! And I was just thinking about Evil Willow!! And I like alternate universe Willow much better than regular Willow.

Kanzeda Crenshaw Hey Lyndsey, Do you like doppleganger Willow better than season 6 black destroy the world Willow?

Lyndsey Definitely! Bored now.

Catie Regular Willow dressed up as alternate universe Willow was pretty funny though.

I love this line: "It's horrible. That's me as a vampire? I'm so evil, and skanky. And I think I'm kind of gay." Haha!

Lyndsey YES! Random Buffy quotes always make my day. :-)

"Love makes you do the wacky."

message 23: by Sandy (last edited Mar 19, 2011 08:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sandy I liked your review before I read Genesis. Now that I've read the book, I LOVE your review. Thanks for the great recommendation, and stellar review!

Lyndsey Thank Sandy!! That really means a lot. Just trying to get the word out about this crazy little unknown book.

message 25: by Nic (new) - added it

Nic Great review Lyndsey. I really must get my hands on this book soon :)

Lyndsey Thanks and... Yes, yes!! Oh yes! (Sorry, I get a little excited over this book. Don't mind me.)

message 27: by Mayomi (new) - added it

Mayomi wow!!! Amazing Review. You make me want to read this book right now.

Lyndsey Yay!!! You should. Wooohooo. :-)

message 29: by Lamia (new) - added it

Lamia Great review! This makes me really excited for the book. I'd never heard of it before but I love dystopian novels and now I have yet another dystopia to read :)
Thank you!

message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Cool! Our library has a copy.

message 31: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy It's on it's way:) Great review!

message 32: by Lyndsey (last edited Apr 03, 2011 12:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Thanks!! I really hope that you all are as crazy about it as I am! :-)

message 33: by Candy (new) - added it

Candy The words dystopian and post-apocalyptic cause me to jump all over a book but reading the summary here I didn't think it sounded interesting at all.
Your review has me putting it on my to read list, thanks!

message 34: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Sturgis You know, it's been well over a year since I read this book, too, and I still think about it all the time. Great review. It's a superb book.

message 35: by Milly (new)

Milly Fantastic review Lyndsey! Following your suggestion and adding it to my TBR! Thanks!

message 36: by Holly (new)

Holly That's one to add to the list. Thanks for the suggestion.

message 37: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Just curious... you said people will love it or hate it. Why might I hate it?

Lyndsey Erin, it can be slow because of the format, but mostly, I think a lot of people might dislike the ending. I LOVED it. I can't say much more without spoiling, though. ;-)

Catie Also, this is a very twisty/intellectual book with a lot of mental gymnastics but not very much action (which I love, but I think some might be turned off by).

Lyndsey So true, Catie. I don't think I know anyone personally who hated it, but I can see how some might.

Since YA dystopia is so edge-of-your-seat and go-go-go these days, someone who picks it up expecting that might be disappointed.

Reynje I just finished reading this (surreptitiously, on my iphone as I probably should have been working). I don't think I will review it, as (a) I'm worried my head willl explode; and (b)your review said everything I'd like to say but can't formulate the words for right now!

Molly Talbert This is a great review!!! I'm seriously ordering this right now! As a huge fan of "1984", I can't wait!

Lyndsey IS GOOD!


Megan I just wanted you tell you that based on your review, I went out and bought this book and I LOVED it! It was INCREDIBLE! Thank you so much! I also forced my brother to read it and he loved it too!

Dichotomy Girl It's funny, I only rated this one 3, because I had a few issues with the writing. But there are 4 & 5 star books that I've long forgotten and this one really does stay with you.

message 46: by Lyndsey (last edited Jan 12, 2012 07:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Michelle, it definitely isn't an easy, flowing type of prose, but the overall impact is outstanding. I will certainly never forget the ending. That can't be said for a lot of books.

@Megan - Yaaaaaaaaaay!! :D

message 47: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Marvelous review! I shall return for a more careful reading after I finish the book.

message 48: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim This is a great review, Lyndsey! I can understand now your question about Valente's books.

I shouldn't get into details about Silently and Very Fast, but it is a truly amazing book in its own right.

Let's just say, some interesting parallels and contrasts with Genesis. Tough to say which you should read first because of that aspect.

Happy to chat about it if you like. Pumpkin time for me soon, but will check messages in the morning.

I don't think you can go wrong with Valente!

back to top