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July 2018: Dystopian > Artemis by Andy Weir 3.5 *s

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message 1: by MargieD2017 (new)

MargieD2017 | 276 comments Andy Weir creates a city on the moon and a talented and feisty 26-yr old female character (Jazz) that was raised in the 'moon city' from her 6th birthday. The definition of the moon city for the reader is done through the main character's dialog and interaction with the supportive cast and constitutes for the first half of the book. While this could have been dry and grueling Andy Weir made it enjoyable and made the city real with his scientific explanations and descriptions. The second half of the book is a Mission Impossible type of action plot that held me in a compulsive read. I have to say that I truly enjoyed this book and found it clear that the author was truly having fun with his dialog as well. Often I could envision the author snickering at what he was writing. It needs to also be said that his portrayal of the Jazz character showed a bumbling inability to speak and act as a girl. Here I think he failed miserably. He also didn't make me believe in her Saudi Arabi culture. To not damage my appreciation of the story, I simply decided that Jazz was not a girl but a guy and that since the Saudi Arabi culture didn't have any major role - I set that aside as well. So there you go.. an odd review for a book that I had a good time reading. Did my own snickering!


message 2: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments Good review. I'm curious what the dystopian elements are, though. I read the first 10 pages and wasn't engaged, so I I was surprised when I saw it shelved as dystopian.


message 3: by MargieD2017 (new)

MargieD2017 | 276 comments The definition of dystopia that I found is " an imaginary place where people are unhappy and usually afraid because they are not treated fairly". I think this book qualifies in the sense that the city on the Moon is clearly imaginary. The being afraid is a persistent condition of Jazz who is living the lowest level of accommodations in the city who then chooses to try to improve her plight by doing smuggling of goods and contraband that could deport back to Earth where she would struggle severely with gravity. Her not passing the exam to make her an EVA and significant change in her lifestyle was presented as an unfair review of her abilities. All of these situations and more seem to apply to the dystopian definition, don't they?


message 4: by Karin (last edited Jul 03, 2018 04:57PM) (new)

Karin | 7463 comments MargieD2017 wrote: "The definition of dystopia that I found is " an imaginary place where people are unhappy and usually afraid because they are not treated fairly". I think this book qualifies in the sense that the c..."

I haven't read this due to some reviews and because I don't think I'll like it nearly as well as I liked The Martian. If it has been shelvd this way it counts for this, naturally.

But is it one person who is always afraid or almost everyone? Every society has people who are treated unfairly. Personally I think that that is not a particularly good definition of dystopia, though. Sometimes it's set in a real place in the future, for example, and it always involves a dystopian type political structure or group in basically total control and in the original prototypes there is a political agenda behind writing the book (but of course, that has changed, eg The Hunger Games). I have been reading scifi and dytopian novels for decades, and while there are scifi dystopians, some books are just scifi with a few unhappy people in them. No system is fair to everyone, none. Not one, even if it tries to be because it is run by people so even in a fair system there are people who treat others badly.

Good examples of dystopia that I have read include Anthem by Ayn Rand (NOT scifi!!!) Brave New World, 1984, The Hunger Games, the Eve trilogy, Agenda 21, etc, etc. Margaret Atwood has written two very different ones, A Handmaid's Tale and then her 3 book series. The first is political and not scifi, the latter is both political and scifi. There are many more, of course.

BUT, and I know some people have shelved this dystopia, the Locked In series is NOT dystopian, but it is a scifi thriller series. An example of a dystopian thriller is the y/a book The Body Electric which is also scifi.

However, I think I lean toward being a bit of a purist with dystopian books given my years reading this sort of thing, and I know things get watered down and muddied up, and sometimes change meaning.


message 5: by MargieD2017 (new)

MargieD2017 | 276 comments Thank you for your thoughts on this. I will have to pick up one of the books you have mentioned to meet the dystopia genre for this month. I understand the term much better now.


message 6: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7463 comments MargieD2017 wrote: "Thank you for your thoughts on this. I will have to pick up one of the books you have mentioned to meet the dystopia genre for this month. I understand the term much better now."

I will check our books in common and PM you if I see you might like something else :)


message 7: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2098 comments Wasn't a fan of this book. Didn't like Jazz and did not live up to The Martian. Looking forward to his next book though.


message 8: by Hebah (new)

Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments I've heard other criticism of this book being an unconvincing portrayal of a female protagonist, and I think that would grate too much for me to be able to enjoy the escapism of the rest. Bummer. I did really enjoy The Martian.


message 9: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments MargieD2017 wrote: "Thank you for your thoughts on this. I will have to pick up one of the books you have mentioned to meet the dystopia genre for this month. I understand the term much better now."

To be clear, Margie, this counts as a dystopian read for the month because it is tagged as such on GR. And, I think you have a good reasoning for why you personally selected it!

The other suggestions that people made are great ones, and tend to fit with a more strict definition of dystopia. I definitely encourage you to read one of those if it strikes your fancy, but rest assured that you will be getting two participation points for this review of Artemis as being tagged dystopian.


message 10: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Jason wrote: "Wasn't a fan of this book. Didn't like Jazz and did not live up to The Martian. Looking forward to his next book though."

Has he announced a next book?!? Or is this just a hypothetical "next book" at this point? I got very excited for a minute. lol


message 11: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I also enjoyed this book and rated about what you did. I thought it was a fun, action packed read, but totally agree that his portrayal of the teenage Jazz did not hit the mark. He did a much better job of writing the main male character in The Martian!


message 12: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2098 comments Hypothetical. He does have a successful short story called The Egg pre The Martian. I haven't read it yet but intend to.


message 13: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7463 comments Nicole R wrote: "To be clear, Margie, this counts as a dystopian read for the month because it is tagged as such on GR. And, I think you have a good reasoning for why you personally selected it!."

Yes, and I apologize if in my ranting I forgot to mention it counts because it has been shelved that way!


message 14: by MargieD2017 (new)

MargieD2017 | 276 comments Nicole R wrote: "MargieD2017 wrote: "Thank you for your thoughts on this. I will have to pick up one of the books you have mentioned to meet the dystopia genre for this month. I understand the term much better now...."

Thanks Nicole for that clarification. I will be reading another selection to score a 'true' dystopia novel for the month.


message 15: by Anita (last edited Jul 07, 2018 06:07AM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6734 comments MargieD2017 wrote: "Nicole R wrote: "MargieD2017 wrote: "Thank you for your thoughts on this. I will have to pick up one of the books you have mentioned to meet the dystopia genre for this month. I understand the term..."

Yes, I will also point out that we don't always know going into a book whether or not it fits the strictest definition of a tag, and that is perfectly okay! The main idea is to give it a try and then make that determination. This book definitely counts for the month, but of course if you read more dystopian books - - that's awesome for us because we get to read your reviews - - and it will get you more chances in the raffle too! But please don't feel compelled to do so . . .


message 16: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 418 comments There are things I did not enjoy about Artemis, but I found that 75% of my discontent was because I was comparing it to The Martian, which was extremely well done.

It does not strike me as dystopian, but many others have tagged it as such.


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