colleen the convivial curmudgeon's Reviews > Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro by Mike Resnick
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's review
Feb 15, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: group-read, sci-fi
Read on February 15, 2012

I liked this one better than it's predecessor, Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia. This one had a few things going for it that made it a bit more likable:

1) It's more hopeful and upbeat.
2) The main character is generally more likable.
3) It's shorter.

In Kirinyaga nothing really worked out right, and the overall sense was almost one of pointlessness - why bother trying to make your Utopia because it'll never work. This one, though, had more of a sense of possibility.

This is mainly due to the fact that David, the protagonist of this novella, is very different from Koriba, of Kirinyaga. Koriba, I feel, had a vision and an idea of Utopia, but he was a fanatic who saw everything as black and white and refused to bend to the inevitability of natural change and progression. David is almost his exact opposite, but not in the sense of being a fanatic of the opposite side, but in the sense that he's the epitome of moderation and compromise. Sometimes, perhaps, a bit too much so, but, overall, to positive results.

And, lastly, it being shorter it didn't feel nearly so repetitive as Kirinyaga. In Kirinyaga every chapter followed the same outline, and the lessons were always pretty much the same, with Koriba becoming more and more obstinate as things around him wanted to change.

In this story there were a slightly more varied set of issues which had to be resolved, and though each one was handled with the general notion of compromise, each situation was handled slightly differently, which was a nice chance to the first story which became kind of tedious after the first few chapters.

Both, together, tell a decent 'fable', presenting an overall sort of right and wrong way to go about things. Though, of course, with any such narrative, the right ways are also subjective, telling us more, perhaps, about the thoughts of the author than anything else. (Though since I'm a big proponent of moderation and the middle ground, I at least found myself in general agreement, which, of course, helped make a more enjoyable read.)

Still, not the sort of story you really latch onto or anything. Decent enough for what it is, but nothing exactly earth-shattering or anything.
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