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review 2018-01-24 04:52
[Book Review] We
We - Yevgeny Zamyatin,Clarence Brown


Several things drew me to We.  Comparison to 1984 is unavoidable, yet it predates it by several decades. A science fiction dystopia written in 1921 Russia that is still being read and discussed today seems like the type of foundation literature I should be familiar with.

The book is definitely an interesting read, pulling on themes we expect to see in any modern literary dystopia with investigation and discussion of what it means to be an individual.  It is also difficult to read, a short novel that makes use of uncomfortable descriptions and has passages that are undeniably racist.  What remains is to untangle what is relic of the environment in which the book was written, what is an aspect of the horror of the setting, and what is true bias of the author.  Philosophically interesting, but for me the discomfort rides heavy even if took minimal space in the text.

Discussion Fodder:

  • What aspects of this book are due to its dystopia setting, and what aspects are due to when and where it was written?
  • How are concepts similar or different?  In particular concepts of the beauty, rationality, logic, the soul, etc.
  • How reliable is the narrator?  Is he a metric of which we can measure the standard contentment of ciphers, or is he an abnormally content in his world of rational numbers?
  • What is the place and purpose of the arts in this story?  How does the formulaic structure of their music and poetry change the impact and role? 
  • How does the author talk about physicality?
  • The narrator describes a "past" while the author writes from approximately a century ago.  How do his descriptions match the world we live in, and how have things changed?
Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/01/book-review-we.html
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review 2015-11-12 04:56
[Book Review] Bitch Planet Volume 1
Bitch Planet Volume 1 - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Robert Wilson IV,Valentine De Landro

I don't even know where to start with this review.  I'd been aware of Bitch Planet for some time, and it totally seemed like my jam from what I heard, but I just didn't get around to reading it.  And then I did.  Holy shit.

GO READ BITCH PLANET NOW

Embracing the outrageousness of 70's exploitation films, Bitch Planet channels the irony of a culture that calls women who dare to push against objectification "angry feminists," into a piece about the anger of those who feel the caging bars of cultural expectations.

The comic is magnificent with a sort fervent insanity that reminds me of what drew me into Tank Girl.  There's an embracing of women's bodies as they are, and a celebration of rebellion against controlling gender expectations.

These women have a reason to be angry.  Not quite chattle in a society that explicitly tells them that they are flawed.  Too loud, too religious, too atheist, too extreme.  Not thin enough, not friendly enough, not compliant enough.  Your husband cast you aside for a younger, prettier, woman?  That may be all it takes to end up exiled from Earth, incarcerated as a noncompliant on an auxiliary outpost.

Bitch Planet is angry and feminist, and is glorious.


There's a fantastic interview with DeConnick over on NPR, I strongly recommend listening to it.

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Image Comics via NetGalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2015/11/book-review-bitch-planet-volume-1.html
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review 2015-11-10 05:24
holy shit
Bitch Planet Volume 1 - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Robert Wilson IV,Valentine De Landro

well, i have a new comic on my pull list

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review 2015-10-13 16:27
I think the New York Times reviewer missed target
The Heart Goes Last: A Novel (Positron) - Margaret Atwood

It's on the NYT Best Seller list with the following summary: "In a future not that different from our world, a couple living in a town where residents both serve as prisoners and staff a prison wrestle with monogamy."

 

Really?  That's what you took from the book?

 

Yeah, they wrestle with monogamy, but the sex is more something to link them to the greater plots of greed, corruption, desperation, and for-profit prison systems.

 

I reviewed it back in Aug if people want something a little more accurate than a book about a couple wrestling with monogamy while serving as both prisoners and jailers.

 

http://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2015/08/book-review-heart-goes-last.html

 

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text 2015-08-16 02:59
I wish I could read it in the original French
The Incal, Book 1: Orphan of the City Shaft - Justin Kelly,Zoran Janjetov,Alejandro Jodorowsky,Mœbius

Chaotic and intriguing, but definitely suffers from translation.

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