The Society of Others ePUB Î The Society PDF \

The Society of Others ePUB Î The Society PDF \



10 thoughts on “The Society of Others

  1. Natalia Natalia says:

    It had taken me two reads to completely understand this story Or to believe that I understand it Understanding what the hell happens in the end was especially hard The Society of Others takes you on a journey through philosophy art literature music and the human state On my second reading I picked up on references of old master paintings that Nicholson inserted into his scenes the most obvious one being the theorbo playing in girl in the brothel; the painting is A Young Woman Playing a Theorbo to Two Men by a Dutch 16th century painter Gerard Ter BorchI plan to go back and find others which made the book into a hunt I found that enjoyable This book makes you work and if you put in the effort you will be rewarded although many people don't like that This might be the reason why this novel would work better as a screen play as some reviews mention since things like music and language which is also an important element are easily expressed There is a lot of content packed into 200 something pages It is thrown at the reader uickly and it is easy to just pass it by Here come the spoilers I think the most problematic thing about this novel for people is the ending First I was also uite disappointed and confused by it However when I went back to the book the second time I read it somewhat differently That land that unknown uncharted territory is the character's mind All of the people places problems are his mind's projection and that is explained at the end although various clues are dropped from the beginning He is God of that world and when he does realize that he can do whatever he pleases he is left alone although even when that happens he still doesn't know that he is ultimately in control He is being chased by himself a lonely cynical man That part was easy to work out My uestion was how did he get there? What happened between the real world and his mind's world? That part is not answered My theory however is that he kills himself right at the beginning just like he does at the end at the table in the room lined by books He is the executioner Chapter 2 ends with Before you know it I'll be gone He decides to go on a journey with no destination into an unknown land Chapter 3 begins with him at the service station by the motorway crossing the boundaries of the two worlds Whatever happens between chapter 2 and 3 brings him to purgatory where the rest of the book is spent until he understands what has happened For him to move on he needed to have realized what he was what he had and what he had missed In the end he is apologetic but not the people who are being killed in the concert hall but to the ones who had loved him in life and those he had abandoned and hurt by his actions The Concert; the final bow; It's not over until the thin guy sings That scene is full of imagery of death and moving on the swelling and falling of music his feeling of floating The concert was his death Or rather his passing from purgatory to whatever lies beyondOf course this theory might be wrong The last paragraph of the book in which he talks about going home might be interpreted as him actually going back home to England But I don't think so There is a strong moral in the story It's up to the reader to decide what it is There are also other uestions the books poses Such as Who really are the 'good guys'? It also examines the nature of totalitarian oppressed societies But all that is only the background for the story of the man that can be read as man general since he states right at the beginning that it could be any of us Sure that might be a singular slightly vain way of looking at it but everything about his existence in that world was self centered all of the characters did care about England uite a lot This books is definitely worth the read and the time I won't call it brilliant but it is multi layered captivating thought provoking and in parts uite beautiful I have loved William Nicholson's writing since I was about 11 and first read the Wing Singer Trilogy It has influenced me and my art in many ways But it wasn't until last year eight years later that I read The Society of Others I was not let down especially after rereading it and pausing to appreciate all of the allusions and work that seems to have been put into it but appropriately crammed into it My rating of this book went up from 4 stars to 5


  2. Gail Winfree Gail Winfree says:

    I bought this advance reading copy of “The Society of Others” at the thrift store for 50 cents I’d seen it on the shelf often but always ignored it Finally I decided to buy it believing there was a reason it kept jumping out at me It was a good purchaseA young Englishman probably in his early to mid 20s narrates “The Society of Others” His father is a successful writer his mother is an art historian and his sister is just a sister The family is financially well off His father has met and married another woman and has a child with her; however father is still loved and accepted by his ex wife and children There is love in the family but a lack of understanding of this love on the part of the narrator The narrator loathes his life and life in general His idea of living is sleeping the days and nights away in his room watching the TV with the volume turned off He has no ambition and doesn’t care about anything That’s what we learn in the first two chaptersUpon graduation from college the narrator’s father gives him money and tells him to do whatever he likes with it He decides to leave home so he hits the road and hitches a ride with a philosophical trucker The narrator has no destination in mind but the trucker does He’s smuggling books into another country we never know what country After crashing through the border crossing the trucker is caught and killed while the narrator escapes He then gets caught up with a group of terrorists the state and secret police a peasant family a school teacher and a cello playing priest among others It’s a sad country everyone’s sad There’s a war between the totalitarian state and the terrorists and the narrator is in the middle and will play a key role in the outcomeThroughout the novel we never learn the narrator’s name or the name of the country We can assume it’s an East European country The narrator does not know what country he is in and cannot understand the language In fact the author does a good job keeping this information from the reader“The Society of Others” is a philosophical thriller that reads like a fable It calls attention to concepts like loyalty innocence and identity It’s a little over 200 pages which is a uick read However the ending will have you going back and trying to piece together the philosophical puzzle that is this book


  3. Emma Emma says:

    An unusual novel an un named narrator decides to find himself on a trip to Eastern Europe He accidentally gets embroiled in the county's political instability interacting with the violent state police the terroristsfreedom fighters and the mysterious society of others It feels a little pretentious to begin with and even after re reading the final chapter I still can't work out what happened at the end However there is real beauty in this book in both the form of poetry scattered throughout its pages and the side characters who selflessly help the narrator in his uest to escape the country


  4. T.D. Elliott T.D. Elliott says:

    At first I liked this brisk fable I even enjoyed the maladapted casually apathetic protagonist As the story barreled along and twists showed themselves I even enjoyed the Kafkaesue indebted world buildingThen the end showed its face and this novel became another one of those overly satisfied with itself reads something which turns in on itself and becomes an ingrown hangnail and leaves nothing settled or even worth ponderingWhich is really too bad This had a lot of promise I feel like the author wrote it and somewhere in the middle third realized he didn't know where he was going with it and tacked on an obvious meta ending This is something I just do not care for in an author's bag of tricks I was so unhappy with the resolution or lack thereof that I pushed the book away from me and had to go outside for a breath of fresh airThe nutshell long on Kafka short on delivery Oh well


  5. Matthew Fray Matthew Fray says:

    A strange book A well off cynical 20 something chooses to escape his lazy life and family and hitch a ride to anywhere He ends up in a never specified repressive Eastern European regime where the lorry he hitches in is stopped by men with guns and the driver murdered And then he goes on the run Clear and straightforward prose with some arresting images makes this very readable Although some of the adjectives make you sit up and take notice But this is not a straightforward thriller There are elements of dystopia and Kafka along with some articulate musings as his experiences changes his mind about life in general and his in particular


  6. Alex Poulin Alex Poulin says:

    I enjoyed the story immensely though I can agree with the detractors The ending was a bit confusing and abrupt however the nameless character has such a journey and changes throughout only to suggest no real change at all A refreshing change to the traditional coming of age story Mr Nicholson has no problem providing uncomfortable themes and actions without being gratuitous GREAT READ and THOUGHT PROVOKING


  7. Oriana Oriana says:

    my sister who never reads is reading this book on her travels in South America I am flabbergasted and ecstatic that she's taking the time to read at all and I must have this book finished by the time she gets back update Welp I'm really sad to have to take a break from Against the Day but it must be done This book looks like a uick read tho so hopefully I won't forget too much of Pynchon while I'm sidetracked update the second Ok so I admit that I wasn't exactly expecting to love this book Sis aside I am generally an unapologetic book snob and my interests were not piued by this one And I wasn't wrong really Society of Others definitely wasn't that good See I mean it starts real shitty with this very overdone illustration of a totally disaffected misanthropic angry twenty something guy A lot of 'My parents want me to be happy but isn't that a lot to ask? I mean they don't actually want me to be happy they want my happiness to make them feel like they're validated in how they raised me' That sort of thing Dude just hanging out alone in his bedroom being pissed off that his dad gave him a bunch of money to go on a post college vacation Oh poor babySo that's the beginning Then the middle actually picked up and was rather good Dude begrudgingly goes on said vacation but by hitchhiking and not asking the trucker who picks him up where they're going So then it switches to a different thing After driving for days they're about to cross a serious border and the trucker asks dude to just hide an envelope in his pocket when they cross and then of course they come to a roadblock manned by guys with guns dude has to jump out of the car and run into the forest while the baddies kill the trucker and set fire to his truck So now dude is alone scared in a foreign country he doesn't know where he is doesn't speak the language It's a super restrictive totalitarian society everyone's scared repressed and he goes along being picked up by various resistance organizations and the like There's a lot of philosophy a lot of nice scenes good intrigue great characters and I actually thought I was going to wind up being pleasantly surprised by how good of a book it wasBut noBecause that's the middle The end which you sense is approaching with some trepidation that dread in the stomach feeling that shit is going to be bad was awful Total seriously disappointing cop out Suddenly this book which has been about tangible interesting things becomes this dreadful metaphorical nonsense Total 'twist' ending but horribly unjustified Leaving a real bad taste in your mouth A real bad why did I bother with this crap taste Sheesh Back to Pynchon I releivedly go


  8. Eliza Victoria Eliza Victoria says:

    I initially thought the ending was underwhelming given that amazing build up but upon reflection I thought – how else could it have ended? This novel is written by dramatist William Nicholson who also co wrote the script for Gladiator You could clearly see the talent in the language The plot is comparable to The Catcher in the Rye only our Holden Caulfield in this story chooses to remain nameless and experiences danger so real and so disconnected from his life that it has the power to either scar him permanently or change his worldview for the better Our world weary protagonist is a young man living in England who would rather lock himself in his room than deal with the hypocrisies of society“My friend Mac is going to be an aid worker in Nepal This is hilarious because all the aid they need in Nepal is getting out from under all the people like Mac who’ve gone there to find meaning in their lives They’ve sucked all the available meaning up and now there’s none left for the Nepalese who have nothing to do except carry explorers’ bags up mountains and sell them drugs Mac says he doesn’t care at least he’ll see the mountains I tell him the thing about a mountain is when you’re on it you don’t see it You need to be far away to see a mountain Like at home looking at a postcard Mac says you stand on one mountain and look at the next mountain I say Then what? Mac says You’re a real wanker you know that? Yes Mac I’m a real wanker The genuine article A simple pleasure that does no harm to man or beast Be grateful””It’s like fish Fish swim about all day finding food to give them energy to swim about all day It makes me laugh These people who hurry about all day making money to sell each other things Anyone with eyes to see could tell them their lives are meaningless and they aren’t getting any happier”He is angry but I also sensed a deep seated unhappiness a disillusionment ”When I was small I thought the world was like my parents only bigger I thought it watched me and clapped when I danced This is not so The world is not watching and will never clap” Well then His father introduces an addition to the family a baby with a younger woman This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back Next thing we know our young protagonist is hitchhiking in an unnamed European city and ends up in the midst of dystopia The driver of the vehicle he rides in breaks through a checkpoint and he runs away From where he hides he sees the man being tortured Later he learns that the contraband material the driver is sneaking through the border isn’t drugs or porn but books Why?From here on the novel reads like a thriller Every now and then the protagonist finds himself debating with other characters about philosophy and ideology and faith and poetry but the action moves forward Forward and fast The narrative has a dreamlike uality that I love


  9. Caroline Caroline says:

    Well damn I have had this book on my 'currently reading' list since June I just finished it today And I Don't Get It Which is NOT to say I did not enjoy the book An angsty youth A dystopian society somewhere in Europe Three factions going head to head Fahrenheit 451 esueness with the ban on books and learning Starts out slow and then by page 40 things start to spiral into insanity I appreciated the Vicino uotes And other views of the book which made you think about your own life experience Exempli gratia You are lifeI am life This seems to me an odd formulation Don't we usually say I am alive?He shrugs not interested in my semantics You are life You live You contain all existence within yourself You are GodSo if I'm God I can have what I wantOf course If you know what you want In the midst of aches in the joints anxiety over the payment of bills concern for the safety of those you love envy of the rich fear of robbers dog weariness at the end of a long day and the unacceptable slipping away of youth there does occasionally appear like a ray of light piercing the clouds a moment of joy Perhaps you have entered the house and sat down before removing your boots A friend has pressed a drink into your hands and is telling you the latest news You see from his face that he's glad you've come in; and you are glad too Glad to be sitting down glad of the warming glow of the dirnk glad of your friend's furrowed brow and eager speech For this moment nothing is reuired It is in its way unimprovable This is what I mean by the Great Enough They have given me the purist gift known to mankind which is to care for a stranger in need My part is to receive the gift and when my turn comes to pass it onI should have known it'd be something philosophical Philosophy my nonsensical arch nemesis speaking in riddles which may as well be speaking in tongues as far as my ability to comprehend goes Ever since my freshman Philo class with a czar of a TA Katya and some argument about two boats an old boat is taken apart at dock and a new boat is built with it same wood screws and all being intrinsically the same Oh the debate the utter chaos of varying opinions Was the man he killed himself? If he killed himself how the hell did he walk out of the room Why was everything familiar to him? What was it with Vicino? What in the world WAS that ending??? So I have trudged through 224 pages doesn't sound like a lot but the print was slightly small and the line height and here I am at a ending that totally perplexes me Time for me to pen an angry letter to Mister William Nicholson


  10. Dakota S Dakota S says:

    Set in a seemingly normal world the narrator describes his adventure of hitchhiking throughout Europe with no set destination It doesn't take long for him to end up in a backwards terror filled country People are executed by the government for nothing This crooked leadership drives its people with fear The narrator is forced to choose sides and fight for what's right not knowing who to trust or to fear Reading this book makes you think about what to believe and what not to believe about what the government tells you Driving the readers into a deep paranoia all uestions about life are pondered The action and suspense caused by this surreal landscape makes it a high paced philosophical thriller making you fear that maybe you're being hunted by the government too This book was written amazingly really putting you into the narrator's shoes as he fights for his life Although it wasn't my favorite mystery thriller I found myself sucked into the world and became an easy page turner A recommended audience is fans of anti government conspiracy theories or suspenseful action mysteries I wouldn't recommend to kids or extremely gullible people like me I didn’t like this book mostly because anti government stories kinda scare me into thinking my life is in danger It is a very well written book using imagery and suspense it is just not one of my favourites


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The Society of Others ❮Download❯ ➿ The Society of Others ➺ Author William Nicholson – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Cool clear eyed and bluntly cynical the young narrator of The Society of Others embarks on a journey without a destination He hitchhikes through Europe only to find himself in a mystifying country whe Cool clear eyed and bluntly cynical the young narrator of The Society of Others embarks on a journey without a destination He hitchhikes through Europe only to find himself in a mystifying country where terrorists are inexplicably after him and so is a sinister government In a surreal landscape where people are shot to death without reason and social control runs deep he must learn The Society PDF \ who to trust–and what to stand for Fast paced and provocative a gripping philosophical thriller The Society of Others is an ingenious meditation on the nature of contemporary innocence and identity.

10 thoughts on “The Society of Others

  1. Natalia Natalia says:

    It had taken me two reads to completely understand this story Or to believe that I understand it Understanding what the hell happens in the end was especially hard The Society of Others takes you on a journey through philosophy art literature music and the human state On my second reading I picked up on references of old master paintings that Nicholson inserted into his scenes the most obvious one being the theorbo playing in girl in the brothel; the painting is A Young Woman Playing a Theorbo to Two Men by a Dutch 16th century painter Gerard Ter BorchI plan to go back and find others which made the book into a hunt I found that enjoyable This book makes you work and if you put in the effort you will be rewarded although many people don't like that This might be the reason why this novel would work better as a screen play as some reviews mention since things like music and language which is also an important element are easily expressed There is a lot of content packed into 200 something pages It is thrown at the reader uickly and it is easy to just pass it by Here come the spoilers I think the most problematic thing about this novel for people is the ending First I was also uite disappointed and confused by it However when I went back to the book the second time I read it somewhat differently That land that unknown uncharted territory is the character's mind All of the people places problems are his mind's projection and that is explained at the end although various clues are dropped from the beginning He is God of that world and when he does realize that he can do whatever he pleases he is left alone although even when that happens he still doesn't know that he is ultimately in control He is being chased by himself a lonely cynical man That part was easy to work out My uestion was how did he get there? What happened between the real world and his mind's world? That part is not answered My theory however is that he kills himself right at the beginning just like he does at the end at the table in the room lined by books He is the executioner Chapter 2 ends with Before you know it I'll be gone He decides to go on a journey with no destination into an unknown land Chapter 3 begins with him at the service station by the motorway crossing the boundaries of the two worlds Whatever happens between chapter 2 and 3 brings him to purgatory where the rest of the book is spent until he understands what has happened For him to move on he needed to have realized what he was what he had and what he had missed In the end he is apologetic but not the people who are being killed in the concert hall but to the ones who had loved him in life and those he had abandoned and hurt by his actions The Concert; the final bow; It's not over until the thin guy sings That scene is full of imagery of death and moving on the swelling and falling of music his feeling of floating The concert was his death Or rather his passing from purgatory to whatever lies beyondOf course this theory might be wrong The last paragraph of the book in which he talks about going home might be interpreted as him actually going back home to England But I don't think so There is a strong moral in the story It's up to the reader to decide what it is There are also other uestions the books poses Such as Who really are the 'good guys'? It also examines the nature of totalitarian oppressed societies But all that is only the background for the story of the man that can be read as man general since he states right at the beginning that it could be any of us Sure that might be a singular slightly vain way of looking at it but everything about his existence in that world was self centered all of the characters did care about England uite a lot This books is definitely worth the read and the time I won't call it brilliant but it is multi layered captivating thought provoking and in parts uite beautiful I have loved William Nicholson's writing since I was about 11 and first read the Wing Singer Trilogy It has influenced me and my art in many ways But it wasn't until last year eight years later that I read The Society of Others I was not let down especially after rereading it and pausing to appreciate all of the allusions and work that seems to have been put into it but appropriately crammed into it My rating of this book went up from 4 stars to 5

  2. Gail Winfree Gail Winfree says:

    I bought this advance reading copy of “The Society of Others” at the thrift store for 50 cents I’d seen it on the shelf often but always ignored it Finally I decided to buy it believing there was a reason it kept jumping out at me It was a good purchaseA young Englishman probably in his early to mid 20s narrates “The Society of Others” His father is a successful writer his mother is an art historian and his sister is just a sister The family is financially well off His father has met and married another woman and has a child with her; however father is still loved and accepted by his ex wife and children There is love in the family but a lack of understanding of this love on the part of the narrator The narrator loathes his life and life in general His idea of living is sleeping the days and nights away in his room watching the TV with the volume turned off He has no ambition and doesn’t care about anything That’s what we learn in the first two chaptersUpon graduation from college the narrator’s father gives him money and tells him to do whatever he likes with it He decides to leave home so he hits the road and hitches a ride with a philosophical trucker The narrator has no destination in mind but the trucker does He’s smuggling books into another country we never know what country After crashing through the border crossing the trucker is caught and killed while the narrator escapes He then gets caught up with a group of terrorists the state and secret police a peasant family a school teacher and a cello playing priest among others It’s a sad country everyone’s sad There’s a war between the totalitarian state and the terrorists and the narrator is in the middle and will play a key role in the outcomeThroughout the novel we never learn the narrator’s name or the name of the country We can assume it’s an East European country The narrator does not know what country he is in and cannot understand the language In fact the author does a good job keeping this information from the reader“The Society of Others” is a philosophical thriller that reads like a fable It calls attention to concepts like loyalty innocence and identity It’s a little over 200 pages which is a uick read However the ending will have you going back and trying to piece together the philosophical puzzle that is this book

  3. Emma Emma says:

    An unusual novel an un named narrator decides to find himself on a trip to Eastern Europe He accidentally gets embroiled in the county's political instability interacting with the violent state police the terroristsfreedom fighters and the mysterious society of others It feels a little pretentious to begin with and even after re reading the final chapter I still can't work out what happened at the end However there is real beauty in this book in both the form of poetry scattered throughout its pages and the side characters who selflessly help the narrator in his uest to escape the country

  4. T.D. Elliott T.D. Elliott says:

    At first I liked this brisk fable I even enjoyed the maladapted casually apathetic protagonist As the story barreled along and twists showed themselves I even enjoyed the Kafkaesue indebted world buildingThen the end showed its face and this novel became another one of those overly satisfied with itself reads something which turns in on itself and becomes an ingrown hangnail and leaves nothing settled or even worth ponderingWhich is really too bad This had a lot of promise I feel like the author wrote it and somewhere in the middle third realized he didn't know where he was going with it and tacked on an obvious meta ending This is something I just do not care for in an author's bag of tricks I was so unhappy with the resolution or lack thereof that I pushed the book away from me and had to go outside for a breath of fresh airThe nutshell long on Kafka short on delivery Oh well

  5. Matthew Fray Matthew Fray says:

    A strange book A well off cynical 20 something chooses to escape his lazy life and family and hitch a ride to anywhere He ends up in a never specified repressive Eastern European regime where the lorry he hitches in is stopped by men with guns and the driver murdered And then he goes on the run Clear and straightforward prose with some arresting images makes this very readable Although some of the adjectives make you sit up and take notice But this is not a straightforward thriller There are elements of dystopia and Kafka along with some articulate musings as his experiences changes his mind about life in general and his in particular

  6. Alex Poulin Alex Poulin says:

    I enjoyed the story immensely though I can agree with the detractors The ending was a bit confusing and abrupt however the nameless character has such a journey and changes throughout only to suggest no real change at all A refreshing change to the traditional coming of age story Mr Nicholson has no problem providing uncomfortable themes and actions without being gratuitous GREAT READ and THOUGHT PROVOKING

  7. Oriana Oriana says:

    my sister who never reads is reading this book on her travels in South America I am flabbergasted and ecstatic that she's taking the time to read at all and I must have this book finished by the time she gets back update Welp I'm really sad to have to take a break from Against the Day but it must be done This book looks like a uick read tho so hopefully I won't forget too much of Pynchon while I'm sidetracked update the second Ok so I admit that I wasn't exactly expecting to love this book Sis aside I am generally an unapologetic book snob and my interests were not piued by this one And I wasn't wrong really Society of Others definitely wasn't that good See I mean it starts real shitty with this very overdone illustration of a totally disaffected misanthropic angry twenty something guy A lot of 'My parents want me to be happy but isn't that a lot to ask? I mean they don't actually want me to be happy they want my happiness to make them feel like they're validated in how they raised me' That sort of thing Dude just hanging out alone in his bedroom being pissed off that his dad gave him a bunch of money to go on a post college vacation Oh poor babySo that's the beginning Then the middle actually picked up and was rather good Dude begrudgingly goes on said vacation but by hitchhiking and not asking the trucker who picks him up where they're going So then it switches to a different thing After driving for days they're about to cross a serious border and the trucker asks dude to just hide an envelope in his pocket when they cross and then of course they come to a roadblock manned by guys with guns dude has to jump out of the car and run into the forest while the baddies kill the trucker and set fire to his truck So now dude is alone scared in a foreign country he doesn't know where he is doesn't speak the language It's a super restrictive totalitarian society everyone's scared repressed and he goes along being picked up by various resistance organizations and the like There's a lot of philosophy a lot of nice scenes good intrigue great characters and I actually thought I was going to wind up being pleasantly surprised by how good of a book it wasBut noBecause that's the middle The end which you sense is approaching with some trepidation that dread in the stomach feeling that shit is going to be bad was awful Total seriously disappointing cop out Suddenly this book which has been about tangible interesting things becomes this dreadful metaphorical nonsense Total 'twist' ending but horribly unjustified Leaving a real bad taste in your mouth A real bad why did I bother with this crap taste Sheesh Back to Pynchon I releivedly go

  8. Eliza Victoria Eliza Victoria says:

    I initially thought the ending was underwhelming given that amazing build up but upon reflection I thought – how else could it have ended? This novel is written by dramatist William Nicholson who also co wrote the script for Gladiator You could clearly see the talent in the language The plot is comparable to The Catcher in the Rye only our Holden Caulfield in this story chooses to remain nameless and experiences danger so real and so disconnected from his life that it has the power to either scar him permanently or change his worldview for the better Our world weary protagonist is a young man living in England who would rather lock himself in his room than deal with the hypocrisies of society“My friend Mac is going to be an aid worker in Nepal This is hilarious because all the aid they need in Nepal is getting out from under all the people like Mac who’ve gone there to find meaning in their lives They’ve sucked all the available meaning up and now there’s none left for the Nepalese who have nothing to do except carry explorers’ bags up mountains and sell them drugs Mac says he doesn’t care at least he’ll see the mountains I tell him the thing about a mountain is when you’re on it you don’t see it You need to be far away to see a mountain Like at home looking at a postcard Mac says you stand on one mountain and look at the next mountain I say Then what? Mac says You’re a real wanker you know that? Yes Mac I’m a real wanker The genuine article A simple pleasure that does no harm to man or beast Be grateful””It’s like fish Fish swim about all day finding food to give them energy to swim about all day It makes me laugh These people who hurry about all day making money to sell each other things Anyone with eyes to see could tell them their lives are meaningless and they aren’t getting any happier”He is angry but I also sensed a deep seated unhappiness a disillusionment ”When I was small I thought the world was like my parents only bigger I thought it watched me and clapped when I danced This is not so The world is not watching and will never clap” Well then His father introduces an addition to the family a baby with a younger woman This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back Next thing we know our young protagonist is hitchhiking in an unnamed European city and ends up in the midst of dystopia The driver of the vehicle he rides in breaks through a checkpoint and he runs away From where he hides he sees the man being tortured Later he learns that the contraband material the driver is sneaking through the border isn’t drugs or porn but books Why?From here on the novel reads like a thriller Every now and then the protagonist finds himself debating with other characters about philosophy and ideology and faith and poetry but the action moves forward Forward and fast The narrative has a dreamlike uality that I love

  9. Caroline Caroline says:

    Well damn I have had this book on my 'currently reading' list since June I just finished it today And I Don't Get It Which is NOT to say I did not enjoy the book An angsty youth A dystopian society somewhere in Europe Three factions going head to head Fahrenheit 451 esueness with the ban on books and learning Starts out slow and then by page 40 things start to spiral into insanity I appreciated the Vicino uotes And other views of the book which made you think about your own life experience Exempli gratia You are lifeI am life This seems to me an odd formulation Don't we usually say I am alive?He shrugs not interested in my semantics You are life You live You contain all existence within yourself You are GodSo if I'm God I can have what I wantOf course If you know what you want In the midst of aches in the joints anxiety over the payment of bills concern for the safety of those you love envy of the rich fear of robbers dog weariness at the end of a long day and the unacceptable slipping away of youth there does occasionally appear like a ray of light piercing the clouds a moment of joy Perhaps you have entered the house and sat down before removing your boots A friend has pressed a drink into your hands and is telling you the latest news You see from his face that he's glad you've come in; and you are glad too Glad to be sitting down glad of the warming glow of the dirnk glad of your friend's furrowed brow and eager speech For this moment nothing is reuired It is in its way unimprovable This is what I mean by the Great Enough They have given me the purist gift known to mankind which is to care for a stranger in need My part is to receive the gift and when my turn comes to pass it onI should have known it'd be something philosophical Philosophy my nonsensical arch nemesis speaking in riddles which may as well be speaking in tongues as far as my ability to comprehend goes Ever since my freshman Philo class with a czar of a TA Katya and some argument about two boats an old boat is taken apart at dock and a new boat is built with it same wood screws and all being intrinsically the same Oh the debate the utter chaos of varying opinions Was the man he killed himself? If he killed himself how the hell did he walk out of the room Why was everything familiar to him? What was it with Vicino? What in the world WAS that ending??? So I have trudged through 224 pages doesn't sound like a lot but the print was slightly small and the line height and here I am at a ending that totally perplexes me Time for me to pen an angry letter to Mister William Nicholson

  10. Dakota S Dakota S says:

    Set in a seemingly normal world the narrator describes his adventure of hitchhiking throughout Europe with no set destination It doesn't take long for him to end up in a backwards terror filled country People are executed by the government for nothing This crooked leadership drives its people with fear The narrator is forced to choose sides and fight for what's right not knowing who to trust or to fear Reading this book makes you think about what to believe and what not to believe about what the government tells you Driving the readers into a deep paranoia all uestions about life are pondered The action and suspense caused by this surreal landscape makes it a high paced philosophical thriller making you fear that maybe you're being hunted by the government too This book was written amazingly really putting you into the narrator's shoes as he fights for his life Although it wasn't my favorite mystery thriller I found myself sucked into the world and became an easy page turner A recommended audience is fans of anti government conspiracy theories or suspenseful action mysteries I wouldn't recommend to kids or extremely gullible people like me I didn’t like this book mostly because anti government stories kinda scare me into thinking my life is in danger It is a very well written book using imagery and suspense it is just not one of my favourites

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