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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Books

Finished off The End Specialist by Drew Magary this last weekend.  Good read - story based around the aftermath of someone inventing a 'cure for aging'.  The cure came from a Dros. lab, which I loved, was a mistake - which makes it more plausible, but is mostly scientifically unexplained.  The cure stops you aging, but you can still develop disease and die any other normal way.  The disintegration of society is both predictable and fascinating to watch unfold.  The book makes jumps into the future periodically and ends in nuclear holocaust.  The beginning of the book claims to lay before you a surviving account from the period, of someone who took frequent notes in diary form throughout his postmortal life.

The exploration into issues such as baby birthdate branding, 'Greenies', Cycle Marriages and the eventual 'End Specialisation' is delightful from a sociological point of view. The End Specialists deal with people who first want to die after a long life, voluntarily and then people marked for an end by a government stretched to its limit trying to retain power, order and functionin a world steadily running out of every type of resource.  A bit scary in its intensity and blithe handling of very real scenarios, but good stuff.

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I also chewed through The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, (2003) by Mark Haddon.  Written from the perspective of a young boy with Asberger's (or similar.  The author claims not to be an expert on the subject, of any kind, and the book has received criticism for it).

The story is supposedly a mystery novel but explores Christopher's mind and home life in incidental detail.  It is a bit of a difficult read, not in the literary sense, but in the emotional.  You obviously see things happening through his writing which Christopher does not understand at all, and you find your heart strings tugged most unmercifully.  I shed tears whilst sitting in the Labour Day sun.

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