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The Sheep Look Up
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The Sheep Look Up > Classic Book of the Month

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Chris (chris83) This is one of the few books in my reading life that left such an utter horror inside of me that it has lasted ever since. In a world where melting ice caps and super bugs are the new normal, it's more terrifying than ever. If you read one book this month let this be it.

Happy .... make that terrified reading everyone!


Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Wow, sure am enjoying this. It's a tough read, so it's a bit slow going, and it took a while to get used to the style. I see SO many parallels between the president in the book & Pres. Trump...scary, especially with the feeling that the EPA is going to be reined in. I think I would have liked it anyway if I had read it earlier - but under the current political climate, with such a divide in the country, it's eerie.


Rose | 79 comments This was a great story, like he had a crystal ball and was able to see how thing become (are now) in the future, but I hate John Brunner's writing style. It's so convoluted but if you can get past it, the story itself is worth it.


Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
So I finished last night - well, early this morning. Here is my review:

I finished Sheep Look Up last night. Wow, loved this book! Don't know why I have never heard of it before. It is a bit of a tough read - I don't really like the style. Don't give up - it's hard to get in to, but give it a chance.

It's told in glimpses, with no introduction to this world or who these people are. But the good old USA is a MESS - we have managed to spoil the air, the water, the soil...Meanwhile, around the world the same thing is happening, and the dessert in the Middle East is growing. This causes starvation in Africa, and some rich American company makes & donates a product called Neutrapon. Suddenly everyone in the village goes crazy - and starts killing each other - right after they feasted on donated Neutrapon. Meanwhile, in the USA there are a group of ecological protesters trying to stop the pollution. The politicians are totally clueless; the President does things like host the Oscars and go to Gettysburg dressed as Lincoln to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

I think reading this shortly after President Trump took office has given it extra meaning - my worries that his administration is more out for the big businesses and doesn't give a hoot about the environment. Spooky.

Sandhouse - I agree, this book is terrifying. It's a classic, but it mostly feels like it could have just been written.


Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
I forgot to mention - there is a definite racial divide in this book - I think that shocked me at first, the idea that was commonly held by the powers-that-be that black intelligence was less than whites. There also seemed to be some segregation going on. It was a bit confusing, and easy to forget as one of the main characters was a black policeman, who after being injured went into business with a couple of white guys and nothing was ever mentioned of race again....strange.

Having been written so long ago (early 70's) there is also a lot of sexism and more traditional roles for women - and wow, the prices are crazy (at one point a wealthy character is worried about the price of food - his favorite steak dinner rose from $8.50 to $9.50!!)


Rose | 79 comments Jane wrote: "wow, the prices are crazy (at one point a wealthy character is worried about the price of food - his favorite steak dinner rose from $8.50 to $9.50!!) ..."

I always laugh at the older books and what they think are sky-high future prices. You can't buy a decent raw steak at the grocery store for that price. Makes you wonder what a steak dinner will cost in another 40 years.


Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Very true - but when I got married in 1977 I was (I thought) making a little over minimum wage - $1.25/hr. Then I found a buried piece of paper on my boss's desk saying the wage was now $1.50/hr. I showed it to him, and got a retroactive raise to a whole $1.75/hr. I got a check for about $325 and my husband and I ran out and bought a color TV - 19" RCA!!

Funny - minimum is now so much more, but $325 will get you a much bigger TV. Technology has dropped so sharply in price, relative to everything else.

And a character in the book is buying computing time on idle company computers - when I am typing this on a laptop that probably would put all of those computers to shame.


message 8: by Roo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Roo MacLeod (goodreadscomrooimacleod) Wow
I'm impressed how quickly you guys finished this book. I'm 1/3 through and struggling. But everyone keeps telling me its tough at the start but worth the effort. So I'm ploughing on, but it's like being made to eat me greens before I can get into the juicy chop. Sigh.


Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Roo wrote: "Wow
I'm impressed how quickly you guys finished this book. I'm 1/3 through and struggling. But everyone keeps telling me its tough at the start but worth the effort. So I'm ploughing on, but it's l..."


It DOES start slow, and you are introduced to so many characters that you really don't care about. It really does get better - some of the characters return, some interact...things happen.

Hang in there! There is a "juicy chop" in there somewhere!


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