Saturday, August 23, 2008

And another weirdo!

I absolutely hate it when I lose a book. I blame this one on my own other who loved it just as much as I did. It definitely warrants re-purchasing after I do some more turning-the-house-upside-down searching!

So, I wanted to include this one with my running them of post-apocalyptic titles because other than the infinitely weird category, this is the best place for it. It's been a while since reading it and it was well before my time as a reviewer (hardcover debut was January '05). Here's what ALA's Booklist review had to say:

Disconnected from his family--and the world at large--a nameless teenager leaves his London home and hitches a ride with a portly truck driver who ponders philosophy to pass the time. Their lives take a tragic turn at the checkpoint of a totalitarian state, where terrorists murder the driver and set fire to his cargo (a stash of books titled The Society of Others, penned by a freethinker named Vicino). Armed with a mysterious "list" and a single Vicino volume salvaged from the wreckage, the young narrator seeks temporary refuge with a quartet of dubious dissidents who "fight torture with poetry" but leave guns "lying about like other people leave umbrellas." He escapes their clutches only to find himself in further precarious straits: appearing on a state-run TV show, reading poetry at a stranger's wedding, and participating in a seminar hosted by an agnostic priest. Tony-nominated playwright and screenwriter Nicholson weaves social and political commentary into this thought-provoking page-turner about coming-of-age in a chaotic world. Mordant and wise, though perhaps too somber for some.

Now, if you look this on up on Amazon, you'll see the review above as well as PW's less than excited review of the same title. I really wish that I had something of substance to contribute. The best I can do is the cryptic entry from my book journal. Very good book with a very confusing ending. Could it be that in his journey he killed the unappreciative selfish part of himself? 

Why then, Becky, did you feel the overwhelming need to share this one? Well, I remember it as a very intriguing read - one that captured even Mike, and our reading tastes don't always mesh. It's definitely not one for everyone's taste. It's certainly thought provoking whatever your opinion of the story may be. I include it in the string of post-apocalyptic reads because the use of no names and no definite locations combined with the strange tale itself led me to imagine a world closer to what I imagine ours would be like after some terrible disaster or war.

And, this is yet another perfect example as to why I don't part with my books! This would have been a keeper all along anyway, not one that I keep on my shelf to remind me of a reading flop, but one that I would like to read and ponder over again. 

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Ohh now this one sounds really good