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The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere, #1)
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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > The Book of the Unnamed Midwife—Finished Reading -- **SPOILERS LIKELY!!**

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message 1: by Nick (new)

Nick (doily) | 966 comments If you've finished reading by The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison, this is the place to share your thoughts with the group.

Caution: There will likely be **SPOILERS** in this thread.


message 2: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) I read this a couple of months ago. From my review: While the beginning feels a bit like "just another apocalypse" this story slowly navigates toward a unique perspective on what it would be like to live through a plague that killed not only a good portion of the population, but exponentially more women than men. One of the most interesting facets, for me, is all the side stories the author followed to conclusion as those characters stepped away from the main narrative. Toward the end, the book almost reads like an index of several other possible stories, many of which I wanted to read.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 217 comments This is the best intelligent dystopia read of this decade, in my opinion. I haven't read any science fiction novel with such impeccably logical extrapolated ideas based on real life today and mixing in how actual human nature has been for 50,000 years, give or take a few millennia and an evolutionary tweak or two.

If you think I am being too hard on humanity, Google for recent fraternity hazing deaths and rape allegations in First World countries, as well as Russian military hazing deaths and the South American prisons which are completely in the hands of gangs, and Central American countries which are actually being run by ex-American street gangs, not to mention everyday 'traditional' life in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or how it is in most of Africa.


message 4: by Aster (last edited Jan 16, 2018 11:57PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Aster (asterlea) | 9 comments I finished this last week and am actually about halfway through the sequel now. I have mixed feelings about it. I do think it's well written and has a few new perspectives that make it an interesting look at the genre, but it is very bleak and I can't really say it's a fun read. Starting off the adventure with a rape attempt and then being abandoned because she's a woman doesn't really feel great, even if it is supposed to be building up to a feminist critique. While she's on her own it's not really anything special though, just a lone survivor getting by in an apocalypse and it dragged a bit at times. Did kinda made we want to play Fallout, though.

Once she meets up with the Mormons and there's more prolonged human interaction that's not pure violence it gets a bit more interesting. I do think Ellison does a pretty great job at portraying the people who get thrown into this hell-scape in a nuanced and believable way. The book also ends with what looks like the start of something new (and it actually begins alluding to this future as well), and because of that and the fact that I already had the sequel (The Book of Etta) at hand, I decided to continue with the series.

I don't want to get too into it since this is a discussion about the first book, but so far I am enjoying the sequel more than the first, and while I don't think I would necessarily recommend the first on its own, as an introduction to a wider universe it might be worth getting through it.

Oh, and one last minor nitpick: The Mormon girl kept making a big deal about not drinking tea or coffee... but then happily drank hot chocolate. There is caffeine in chocolate and I know this only because one of my friends in high school was Mormon and couldn't eat chocolate because of it. Just an odd little oversight, and I found it more amusing than anything, but still.


Suzanne | 98 comments It IS bleak, and was stated above, sadly believable. I'm reading it on the kindle, and although I liked the journal parts, the font was a bit difficult for me to read (at least at the same speed).

I've always enjoyed reading this type of books - they make me think/wonder what I would do in a similar situation. Although I'd probably just be in the 99% that died =)


message 6: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 496 comments Mod
I accidentally bought this as an audio book, and it's taken me awhile to get through it. I was glad I got it in measured doses, it was indeed pretty bleak. Yes, bleak, that's the perfect word, and that's usually why I don't read dystopian fiction. The storytelling style in Midwife was very engaging, though, and I liked the midwife as a narrator. It raised a number of interesting questions, both practical (how do you find food and supplies) and also societal (how does society rebuild -- or does it??). A good book.

For a more uplifting post-apocalyptic novel, try Station Eleven


Mrfart | 1 comments I liked the book, it had a genuinely refreshing perspective. Having said that, if it wasn't for this female perspective it would feel like yet another apocalypse survivor story.
To nitpick: Would it really be that hard to find fire arms in a country that has 400 million of them. While only 2 percent (or less, I don't remember) of it's population survived. I feel like you would trip over them left and right :D


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 217 comments Mrfart wrote: "I liked the book, it had a genuinely refreshing perspective. Having said that, if it wasn't for this female perspective it would feel like yet another apocalypse survivor story.
To nitpick: Would i..."


: D

Many gun owners in America, and many own hundreds of guns per owner....you are so right.


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