I had never heard of this book before the list, therefore, I had no preconceptions on what it would be like. It’s like crazy man!
At first, this book was refreshing in its new (to then) take on the future. With all the genetically modified humans to fill the different casts/workstations, and the lack of age – yet not without consequence, it is a disturbing look at what may be. With each new chapter I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘out-of-this-world’ oddness of it all. This isn’t to say I was slightly uncomfortable with the bleak look into the not too distant tomorrow. I pretty much flew through it.
Then we meet ‘The Savage’. Now the book felt a little bit like Planet of the Apes. You know, the ‘oh this isn’t going to end well’ feeling. The, ‘why can’t we horrible humans just leave good enough alone!’ feeling. The ‘it’s inevitable, we’re going to F*%# up the whole universe’ feeling. And they do.
Poor Mr. Savage is introduced into a world of non-emotion, or pre-factored emotion. A world where death is made to be un-scary (wich of course makes it even more terrifying.) and something not to be sad about. He is gawked at, prodded, and almost poked. It doesn’t end well.
How many works of literature must be produced for us mindless sheep to consume before we actually get it? These are warnings! Read Animal Farm, 1984, A Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, god even The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! Tell me what is so ‘far fetched’ in them?
Are you really so secure in your life that you don’t think one day you could be castrated without your consent just to keep a handle on booming population rises? Oh wait, that happened already. Ever read A Fine Ballance? Look up India 1977 “compulsory Sterilization”. Or just read this and try not to freak out when you see Canada and America on the list.
Where is this rant going you’re wondering? What’s the point /end game? Be ready. Walk around with your eyes open. Be willing to stand up to injustices and speak out. I’m not really that paranoid, but I’m not blissfully ignorant either. Sometimes a bit of paranoia may just save your life.
“And that,” put in the Director sententiously, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.”
Doesn’t sound that far off, does it?