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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life—"The World Inside" by Robert Silverberg (73 comments)

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  •  loggersbrat, I don't care for dystopian fiction (11+ / 0-)

    either, but the little I've read certainly haunts me.

    Take A Handmaid's Tale--that totally freaked me out, because I can imagine all too well the idea of it's happening here.  In fact, I think that process has already begun.  Certainly I feel as if I'm living in the Republic of Gilead, with women's hard-won rights being taken away one by one by legislators.

    Starhawk's The Fifth Sacred Thing also made me wildly uncomfortable.  I can see that happening too.

    So far I've refused to read The Hunger Games or anything like it.  Brave New World and the dystopias I've mentioned are already kicking uncomfortably around in my head, and they're quite enough for the moment.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:06:27 AM PDT

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    •  The Handmaid's Tale (6+ / 0-)

      is one of those classic dystopias that is even more chilling because so many elements of it are coming true around us.

      Brave New World and The World Inside seem so outlandish that they could never happen.

      For what it's worth, I read all three of the Hunger Games books and understand their appeal to teens and young women but they are not nearly realistic enough to be truly frightening.  The dystopian society in hunger games is just the reason for setting up the games and explaining Katniss' participation in the games.  In my opinion, the violent adventure of the games themselves are more the focus of the first book rather than the society that spawned them.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:14:16 AM PDT

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      •  I read 2 of the 3 Hunger Games books. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        The last two. We were on vacation when my daughter finished #2, and I figured I'd take a look at what was going on inside her head.

        Frankly, I was not impressed. I thought the author was manipulating her readers in some fairly obvious ways, and I got the feeling she was being extra-violent and extra-grim mainly to show that a woman could be just as violent and grim as a man. But it was the manipulation that really irritated me--it seemed the author did not trust her own characters and story, so she felt the need to resort to gimmicks.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:31:41 PM PDT

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        •  I've read the first 2 books several times each, (3+ / 0-)

          but the third only once. "Mockingjay" is a bit of a mess. Since I'm writing (among other things) dystopian fiction myself, I want to do better than that.

          Find out about my next big thing by reading my blog. Link is here: http://bettysrants.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/my-next-big-thing/

          by Kimball Cross on Sat May 11, 2013 at 03:43:08 AM PDT

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          •  Mockingjay is a good concept (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            but the book is obviously not as well thought out as the first two.

            it's like the Triple Crown--plenty of horses win the first two legs.   it's the third that makes greatness or mediocrity.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Sat May 11, 2013 at 05:53:25 AM PDT

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          •  OK, some suggestions. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, citylights

            I wish you the best in your writing career!

            I humbly offer my reactions to the last 2 Hunger Games books, for whatever they're worth.

            1. Seems like EVERY friggin' chapter would end with some new crisis blowing up, to manipulate the reader into going ahead with the next chapter. This is what cheap TV series do. That's what I was referring to when I said the author didn't trust her characters and story to keep the reader interested. It's like the author saw me as a target to be manipulated into submission, rather than as a peer who might enjoy or find meaning in what she enjoys or finds meaning in.

            2. As I noted above, the grimness and violence seemed so over-to-top, forced.

            3. The technology didn't add up. OK, I know, it was fiction. But still--they have all this fabulous tech for the game arenas, but their aircraft haven't advanced to the point of a 1916 Sopwith Camel? But they have hovercraft, which are obviously significantly more sophisticated? Give me a friggin' break. That was an obvious gimmick so that the hero could shoot the hovercraft with a bow and arrow. Again, it felt like the author was manipulating me; it's not good to treat your reader as an adversary.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:30:45 PM PDT

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            •  It was supposed to be some kind of weird sci-fi (3+ / 0-)

              arrow, though shot from a traditional bow. Only problem is, the future society has automatic weapons, which could have riddled Katniss with bullets in the time she needed to nock an arrow and draw her bow.

              The attack on the Capitol (sic) made no sense because the author has spent 2 and 1/2 books telling us the Capitol government produced nothing but the Hunger Games and oppressive laws. One week of siege would be enough to sweat them out. The attack on the Capitol happened so that certain characters could die to set up the final confrontation between Katniss and President Coin.

              You're quite right.

              Find out about my next big thing by reading my blog. Link is here: http://bettysrants.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/my-next-big-thing/

              by Kimball Cross on Mon May 13, 2013 at 09:52:17 AM PDT

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            •  you R correct--she wasn't writing to you as a peer (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              Hunger Games was young adult literature.

              books written for that age group are often constructed like that.

              supposedly young adult readers follow action rather than character at that age.

              not everyone is JK Rowling, able to write at a level both children and adults can enjoy

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:55:30 AM PDT

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        •  the first book is the anchor (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          reading them out of order does not work

          i think the first book is the best, and I thought the last book was sort of lame, but I'm not the intended demographic!

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat May 11, 2013 at 05:51:26 AM PDT

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