stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Now, this takes me back. This is another one in the Favourites roundabout (and if it looks like I'm only reading things from BookCrossing, that's because they're the only ones I've got the brain to write up at the moment).

I first read this at school - sixth form, it must have been, from the shape of the library in my mind's eye - and enjoyed it then. It was interesting to revisit it, and to find that on the whole it's very much as I remember it.

This is set in one of those dystopian societies that look very neat and tidy on the surface, and then turn out to be a little too neat and tidy when you dig a little. The titular Giver holds all the world's memories - because the world has decided it's easier without remembering things like love and war, but somebody has to have them - and is passing them on to Jonas, the new Receiver. As before, I found this concept intriguing, and was hooked on the gradual deconstruction of the society. As before, I found myself getting rather bored with the end of the story. It was quite late at night, I will admit, but it did feel as if it finished two chapters too late - though this time I picked up on the ambiguous nature of the ending.

Interesting to revisit a book I'd enjoyed before, and to see how my relationship to it has changed over the past ten years (very little, as it happens).

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10359233
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Thoroughly enjoyable satirical post-apocalyptic GM dystopian sci-fi. (I don't think Atwood likes calling it sci-fi, but tough. That's what it is.) It took me a while to get into this but it's very skilfully constructed; once I began to work out the history and where everybody fitted in, I was hooked.

I'm not surprised this is somebody's favourite.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10380600
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
It's a long time since I read The Giver, but I seem to remember enough of the plot to connect this sequel into the general scheme of things. In any case, this would work quite happily as a standalone, and, indeed, I didn't feel greatly hard-done-by having missed the second book of the trilogy. (Not that I wouldn't read that... um, you know what I mean!)

Anyhow, this is a quick read, a utopia-dystopia, wandering rather further beyond the realms of realism than The Giver and consequently rather less frightening (though if you were to ask me again in a dark forest I might revise that statement...). All the same, a suspenseful and poignant book, well worth a read.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9957262
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
A classic example of 'never judge a book by its cover'. I did, and title + cover photo of Keira Knightley made this a book I'd never have picked up but for book club.

So, as it was a book club book, we're playing by book club rules. My one word to describe this was 'dystopia'. I had to define this. It's the opposite of utopia.

Never Let Me Go took me right back to sixth form and Nineteen Eighty-Four. It's another of those wonderfully bleak, understated, British dystopias, where everything is quietly miserable, up until you get a glimmer of hope three quarters of the way through, and then... nothing changes. You can't beat the system. You love Big Brother.

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