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Not Dark Yet
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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1739 comments Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen

About the Book (source: http://twodollarradio.com )
Brandon leaves his boyfriend in the city for a quiet life in the mountains after an affair with a professor ends with Brandon being forced to kill a research animal. It is a violent, unfortunate episode that conjures memories from his military background.

In the mountains, his new neighbors are using the increased temperatures to stage an ambitious agricultural project in an effort to combat globally heightened food prices and shortages. Brandon gets swept along with their optimism, while simultaneously applying to a new astronaut training program. However, he learns that these changes—internal, external—are irreversible.

A sublime love story coupled with the universal struggle for personal understanding, Not Dark Yet is an informed novel of consequences with an ever-tightening emotional grip on the reader.

About the Author: (source: http://twodollarradio.com)
Berit Ellingsen is a Korean-Norwegian writer whose stories have appeared in Norton's Flash Fiction International Anthology, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Unstuck. She is the author of the story collection Beneath the Liquid Skin, and the novel Une Ville Vide, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the British Science Fiction Award

Author’s webpage: http://beritellingsen.com

Twitter handle: @BeritEllingsen

Author Interview: http://www.vol1brooklyn.com/2015/11/1...
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If you would like to chat about this book, or this author, here's a place to do so!

Happy reading!!


message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1739 comments Note - this is one of those times I kind of hate the publication blurb on a book. I don't think this is an apt description of the story AT ALL... this is hardly a love story, if anything it is more about a man (and that is a better description than "Brandon" since his name is given once and NEVER again) separating himself from urban, familial, friendship and loving connections and becoming nearly monastic out in the wilderness. It's surreal and up to interpretation what it is he is trying to figure out about himself in the midst of an environment that is tearing itself apart due to mankind. Perhaps a "mankind sucks and mankind has created this problem and I see it in myself, can I remove myself from mankind and the parts of me that are violent/wasteful/selfish etc?"


Jason Perdue | 632 comments I agree about the awful description. I enjoyed this book, but for as short as it is, it was a bit of a chore. I found myself choosing other things to read.
SPOILER ALERT

"He" is trying to find meaning in a world on the brink of total collapse. In increasingly isolated realms, he begins by going inside a research center behind a series of mysteriously locked doors, further and further from the outside world. Then retreats to the mountains away from everyone he knows while attempting that whole time to get on a Mars mission where he can really be alone. Ultimately, he dumps himself in the ocean where he was not only alone, but not a single person knew where he was, nor was anyone looking for him. The title resonates through the book as it's always dusk or falling light or about to be too dark to shoot his gun or take a photograph. This impending darkness is constantly creeping in and will ultimately take over.


message 4: by Amy (last edited Jul 26, 2016 08:34PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1739 comments Jason wrote: "I agree about the awful description. I enjoyed this book, but for as short as it is, it was a bit of a chore. I found myself choosing other things to read.
SPOILER ALERT

"He" is trying to find mea..."


Yes - it's so interesting how the MC is so removed from humanity that we see his name only once and descriptions of place and background are always vague and impersonal (e.g. his mother is from the "Eastern continent" while his father is from the "Southern continent"). I wasn't sure if this was to create part of the near-future feeling (perhaps independent countries have ceased to be?) or if it is just to keep us at a distance. For me it just kept increasing the sense of disquiet at the lack of connection to humans, the world and reality that "He" embodies.


message 5: by Kristin-Leigh (last edited Jul 27, 2016 11:59AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kristin-Leigh (okrysmastree) | 58 comments I won't lie, I really hated this book - the writing felt really purple at times in an amateurish (almost fanfiction-y?) way and it felt to me like Ellingsen was fighting to hit a certain word/pagecount frequently, the way the narrative would get into every detail of the most rote activities - the chapter dedicated to a character paying his restaurant bill, anyone??

The characters all felt generic to me, too - of course Brandon carries around the guilt of killing kids as an army sniper and for some reason has untreated epilepsy that he needs to hide to appear strong! Insert backstory flashback here, and never address it again!

All stuff I can forgive in a novel with a really page-turner plot or at least a really unique concept, and NDY just didn't deliver on those fronts for me.

I may be alone in these feelings though, given the number of great reviews it has!


message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1739 comments Kristin-Leigh wrote: "I won't lie, I really hated this book - the writing felt really purple at times in an amateurish (almost fanfiction-y?) way and it felt to me like Ellingsen was fighting to hit a certain word/pagec..."

yup! :) I'm expecting this one is really going to split folks! you should have company soon (but it will hopefully have a few more fans as well).


Judy (wisdomkeeper) | 80 comments Kristin-Leigh wrote: "I won't lie, I really hated this book - the writing felt really purple at times in an amateurish (almost fanfiction-y?) way and it felt to me like Ellingsen was fighting to hit a certain word/pagec..."

Wow Kristin-Leigh, I really loved this book. I found Brandon a pretty unique and complex character. The details of his activities brought him to life for me and made me worry about him. True, there is not much plot. For me it was atmospheric but also haunting as far as the climate change stuff went.

And I loved the dream-like sequences, which I figured came from some kind of seizures, but also were a part of who Brandon was.


message 8: by Mainon (new) - added it

Mainon (bravenewbooks) | 91 comments The dream-like passage written from the point of view of the mummifying monk really socked me in the gut. It took me a little while to figure out what was happening, but I feel like the initial uncertainty, and the energy to decode it, really caused me to invest in that experience.


jess (skirtmuseum) | 146 comments The passage from the self-mummifying monk was a gut punch for me. I thought it was going to foreshadow the main character isolating himself in space or the cabin or even some kind of Eco warrior journey, but it never happened. It started to tell me something about his relationship with his brother, but it didn't quite get there? Too bad. It was a good chapter.

This book tried to do many interesting things, and I could see and appreciate them. I'm just not sure how successful it was at any of them?


message 10: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 299 comments I know I am late but I got this book from the library.

I read the first 25 pages and just could not get into the storyline.
I will try again soon as I might not be in the right mood for this story.

I read the first couple of comments about the "blurb" not necessarily matching the story - wondering if that is affecting my mood about this book.


message 11: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1739 comments Beverly wrote: "I know I am late but I got this book from the library.

I read the first 25 pages and just could not get into the storyline.
I will try again soon as I might not be in the right mood for this story..."


I'm one of the few surprised by how much I liked this book. Two parts that I especially digged are opposite to my usual tastes: 1) distance/remove from the main character (his name is given in the first sentence, then never again for example... he's mostly nameless, faceless, featureless) & 2) a general sense of unease.

Not a lot happens, the scenes are dropped into without orientation about time & place, common identifiers are avoided (such as the city they are in, the ethnicity of each character)... it's so different than what I am used to but I think that helped make the "the world is not right" feeling the character somehow. I found it brilliant in that regard.


message 12: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wisdomkeeper) | 80 comments I'm one of the few surprised by how much I liked this book.

Amy, I felt the same!


message 13: by Drew (new) - rated it 4 stars

Drew (drewlynn) | 425 comments I just finished this last night and was also surprised by how much I liked this book. The description of the storm was so realistic, I felt like I was actually in it! (Although I live way inland out of reach of last week's predicted NW storm, it was a bit surreal reading about the storm in the book while IRL a storm was wreaking havoc on the Oregon coast.)

Here's an off-the-wall question: I donate most books I've read to my library's recreational reading collection. We separate them by genre. What genre is this book? To me, it seems like SciFi/Fantasy but general fiction might be more accurate. What do you all think?


message 14: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wisdomkeeper) | 80 comments Drew wrote: "I just finished this last night and was also surprised by how much I liked this book. The description of the storm was so realistic, I felt like I was actually in it! (Although I live way inland ou..."

Even though you might say it is CliFi, I think it falls mostly into general fiction because anything in it could happen now or at least in someone's imagination now-:)


message 15: by Mainon (new) - added it

Mainon (bravenewbooks) | 91 comments I agree! If I were looking for this book, I think I'd look for it in general fiction before SciFi/Fantasy.


message 16: by Drew (new) - rated it 4 stars

Drew (drewlynn) | 425 comments Thanks for the input, Judy and Mainon! General fiction it is.


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