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Ecotopia – Ernest Callenbach

(speculative, environmental, political)

 

The book is based on a fictional place called Ecotopia which used to be an area in America but is now independent and separately governed. The main character William goes on a journalistic assignment to discover and report back all he can about this place that outsides know little about. Ecotopia has made drastic changes to their society and ways of life in order to live in a less environmentally damaging way.

 

The book is written part diary entries of William’s and part official columns. The columns are extremely informative and therefore we are given lots of insight into the country of Ecotopia and how they live. It did however make it feel a little like you were reading a report (which I guess it is really) rather than a fictional novel. These sections did become a bit of an information overload at times, particularly in areas that I have little knowledge and interest in, i.e., economics and therefore I did find these parts a bit of a drag. The diary entries were where the storyline was held and where we got to know the characters a bit more, these were the bits I enjoyed the most.

 

Overall, I did like this book although not as much as I first thought I would but this is mostly because I wasn’t aware of the style in which it was written and therefore, I wasn’t expecting there to be very little storyline. One thing that did frustrate me was that all the female characters where pretty sexualised, I don’t think there were any where comments about their attractiveness was not mentioned.

 

Opening line: The Times-Post is at last able to announce that William Weston, our top international affairs reporter, will spend six weeks in Ecotopia, beginning next week.

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You Have Arrived at Your Destination (Forward Collection) – Amor Towles

(dystopian, short story, thought-provoking)

 

This is a short story set in a time when people can essentially choose what their child will be like. A fertility lab allows you to select certain traits to be more pronounced and others to be less so in order to determine aspects of the child's personality, temperament and intelligence. Parents can even view simulations of what different variations of their child may be like depending on what profile they chose.

 

I really love the concept of this story and felt that it was explained really well. It also raises the concept of ‘playing god’, and if this is something that can really be beneficial or not.

 

I would have loved to have read a whole novel based on this concept, one where we actually get to see the choice the character makes and how this effects the child as it grows up. I did find the second half of the book a little less intriguing, it kind of felt a bit separate from the first half however overall, I enjoyed it. Id like to read some more books from this collection at some point.

 

Opening line: It had been years since Sam had been this far out on the express way.

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Tender is the Flesh – Agustina Bazterrica

(dystopian, disturbing, horror)

 

Tender is the Flesh is set in a time when a virus has eradicated all animals accept humans and therefore in order to satisfy peoples urge to eat meat they have began to farm and slaughter humans. The people that are eaten have been completely dehumanised to the point that they are no longer called humans, rather ‘heads’ in order to desensitise people from what they are actually eating.

 

We follow Marcos who works at a processing plant where the slaughtering takes place, he has recently lost his infant son and his wife has left because of this. I found Marcos a difficult character to work out however in my opinion the ending was very revealing as to his true character.

 

It was a very bleak and disturbing read with a lot of details of the farming and slaughtering process as well as how people have become animalistic in the way they view each other. I would recommend it if this sort of thing doesn’t bother you as it was definitely thought-provoking and I certainly haven’t come across any other books willing to lay a topic out like this so bluntly!

 

Opening line: Carcass.

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On 08/11/2021 at 3:11 PM, Goose said:

The Sad Ghost Club – Lize Meddings

(graphic novel, mental health, touching)

 

I just ordered this for myself on Sunday!

 

On 13/11/2021 at 8:14 PM, Goose said:

You Have Arrived at Your Destination (Forward Collection) – Amor Towles

(dystopian, short story, thought-provoking)

 

I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Muggle Not has been reading books in this series and he's been enjoying them too. I have them on my Kindle wishlist, I'll buy them at some point and read them, I think I will like them too :).

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2 hours ago, Athena said:

 

I just ordered this for myself on Sunday!

 

 

I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Muggle Not has been reading books in this series and he's been enjoying them too. I have them on my Kindle wishlist, I'll buy them at some point and read them, I think I will like them too :).

So glad the hear you've order Sad Ghost Club, its such a sweet and simple story but manages to get it just right. The illustrations are lovely too 😊 

 

I like that they are all individual stories that you can dip into whenever you feel like it :)

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