Damn. This guy does not only traipse through interesting times being a naive youth, he's got a cursed luck too... and there come the valves
Some pages later:
"The machine will produce the results of a prefrontal lobotomy without the negative effects of the knife,"
Christ. It's shock therapy.
"Why not castration, doctor?"
"Then why don't you try more current?"
"You suggest it?"
"I do, why not?"
"But isn't there a danger . . . ?" the voice trailed off.
"Look, he's dancing," someone called.
An oily face looked in. "They really do have rhythm, don't they? Get hot, boy! Get hot!" it said with a laugh.
This book is quite terrifying. I think most everyone but me has read it or was forced to read it in high school. I was a delinquent student and missed out on this book somehow and decided to read it now. Don’t ask me why. It is perhaps a very bad time to decide to read this book about a world where Big Brother is watching your every move, history is being re-written on the daily and replaced with lies and where most everyone is just another cog in the wheel and basically a Sheeple obliviously going along with things.
Anyway, this book was pretty chilling and very readable except for the long winded section where the “hero” is reading the journal/book provided to him about the way of the world. I think that could’ve been tightened up as it repeated much of what the reader already knew but if you need to know all the details you’ll love this part. I wasn’t a fan of the “Newspeak” section at the end where it explains in great detail how language is being slaughtered to control the masses. I also didn’t like the “hero” but I don’t think I was supposed to. In this world no one can be trusted and he is a rather weak and loathsome creature. He’s married, hasn’t a clue where his wife ended up and doesn’t really seem to care, he cheats and he sees a young woman and fears her because she is part of the Thought Police but secretly he wants to hurt and rape her. Ugh, what a loathsome creature. Did I say that already? Despite his distasteful personality and all of my complaints, I think you should read this if you haven’t already because it tackles the absolute absurdity of allowing government complete control over every aspect of your life.
The audiobook version I listened to as narrated by Simon Prebble who does an excellent job.
It dawned on me about halfway through this that I had read another book by this author that did not go well AT ALL. Happy to say this was much better overall. But man was this everything the warnings indicate and more. This was utterly disturbing but I found myself unable to put this down.
There are 4 stories in this anthology as follows:
Don't be Afraid of the Dark - 3 Stars
This one has some pretty sadistic torture with a vampire plot. For much of the story I was left scratching my head how the story would merge but I loved when it did. I did think the story overall ended way too quickly and I wanted another turning and vampire bonding to close this one out.
Slave - 2 Stars
Phew...this was was sadistic and full of some pretty awful torture. Again, it ended abruptly.
Sin - 4 Stars
This one is easily the most disturbing of the 4. Good lord this poor kid was self destructive and so abused. Note that this one includes rape, incest and some pretty heavy drug use. But overall I felt this one was the best of the 4 and had the most character development and craziest ending.
Fugue - 2.5 Stars
This was was just weird and yet written in a way that leaves you wondering what was real and what was not. Not a lot of torture in this one but more possible alien abduction.
Overall, these are written better than the book I had previously read by this author and overall I was pulled in and unable to set this down. Note that while this is full of non-con sexual situations there is no detailed sex in these stories. Overall everything is implied and handled without getting into the specific acts themselves which helped me a lot.
Overall a 3 Star read for the book, with stories ranging from 2-4 Stars.