Friday, August 03, 2007

Challenge Catch-up

I've been reading for my Dystopia Challenge and I finished two of the books. The Giver by Lois Lowery is really a juvenile book - so I finished it in a day. It's set in a future when the community is valued over the individual. When all feelings are in the open and children are created in lab. The society is highly structured and everyone has a place and a placement.

The story is about a boy who is chosen to be the "Receiver" of the memories of the distant past. A past that included choice, color, war, snow, pain - everything we associate with our existence. The boy is overwhelmed with the all the information and decides that the memories must be shared with the community. He also can't bear that people are "released" - when he discovers what "released" means. Death - even heartless killing. It was a hard ending. I can see the value of reading it with young people.

My next read for this challenge was Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm. I was drawn to this book because it explores a society of clones and what happens when an accidentally individual occurs. I didn't realize until I got it that it was published in 1976 - long before Dolly, the cloned sheep. It begins with the story of the need for cloning (Earth dying, people unable to reproduce) and then jumps to years later when the clones are in charge and believe their society is the way to go. Again, the community is placed above the individual and one person turns everything upside down. I liked this ending better but it was still sad.
You can see all the other books and reviews at this site. I still have one more to go - Brave New World. I had to take a break because I was still with the clones so I'm attempting Jane Austin. Wish me luck....


Lisa said...

Love The Giver. If you've not read Animal Farm and 1984 then you should. Also check out a YA book called Feed. It envisions a time in the future where we all just have our internet connections 24/7 through an implanted feed in our brain. Beware though. Profane language abounds. ABOUNDS. You'll probably be thinking, "How disgusting! I can't believe Lisa Burley told me to read this book!" But it's challenging enough it's worth a read.