Sunday, April 26, 2009

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

So, most everyone who knows me (and also if you've been reading this blog for long *wishful thinking*) knows that I lurve distopian/postapocalyptic fiction and movies.  I don't know why and I'm kinda dicey on what that says about me as a person but there it is all the same.  

So, on to Genesis.  This is a novella really, short and not so sweet.  Look back, if you will, on how much I thought Moody's Hater rocked HaRd!  Now, this little book is much more philosophical in nature, helped along by the fact that is sort of actually about philosophers.

Anaximander is a candidate for The Academy, the driving force and underlying strength of the Republic which arose from devastating worldwide plagues, wars, runaway global warming and assorted other nasty bits late in the twenty-first century.  She must endure a harrowing entrance examination that reminded me of a doctoral candidate defending his/her thesis.  I've never actually seen or experienced that so again, this comparison is only in my mind's eye...which also has a slightly sinister connotation after reading this book :-)

Anix has chosen as her subject her long-dead hero, the controversial revolutionary icon Adam Forde.  She must show that her knowledge of his life and motivations is exemplary and she has five hours to do so.  Never has five hours made my brain work so hard.  I did listen to this book and I am dying to get a monograph copy so I can ponder more closely the things that made my brain itch to think about them.   ....maybe I too have been infected.

If you like to ponder the human condition, the very definition of humanity, what are its prerequisites, what constitutes it, whether anybody really has any of it, and more of that sort of internal soul searching, find yourself a copy of Beckett's Genesis and prepare to think really hard.  Maybe you'll be better at it than me,  many people are, but I'm pondering again and again some of the ideas I read.  For me, definitely worth a re-read.

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