I was a bit concerned when I ordered this book. I have a thing for post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, but would I like a book that is supposedly geared towards the teen market? After reading "Genesis" I have to wonder about whomever it was that decided this book should be geared towards said market. This novel is highly philosophical and therefore seems more geared towards older readers (late teens, adults such as myself).
But let's put aside the brief market discussion above and get to the meat of this review: did I like "Genesis" even though it was philosophy-heavy when I have a tendency to not always enjoy such fares. Yes, I did. I did not find the book overly preachy on the question as to what it means to be a living creature/alive. This is because Beckett wraps the story cleverly.
Anaximander is a young female about to take a four-hour oral exam to enter The Academy, her society's premier institution. After three years of tutoring by Pericles, she has opted to be tested on the life and times of Adam Forde, who is considered a hero in her society. The novel, which is relatively short (around 150 pages), is exclusively from her point of view as she is being tested by three examiners. We learn a great deal about what occurred to the planet after a pandemic causes an apocalyptic-like world in which the Republic, an island nation severely secured from the outside, survives. We learn what makes Adam a hero, and what makes Anaximander who she is.
I know that I do not tell much of the novel itself, but doing so would risk spoiling things for readers. When I got to the end of the novel, I had to sit down and say, "wait a minute, what just happened here."
This isn't the best post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel out there, but it is definitely good enough, and compelling enough, for me to have read it in one sitting.
Anaximander, with the help of a tutor, has been studying in order to take the four-hour exam she must pass in order to become a member of The Academy. This book is mostly a transcript to her oral exam before a three judge panel. I found Mr. Beckett's writing style unique as the whole story is told mostly through Anax's interview with The Academy elders and through several flashbacks. Through this interview we learn what has become of the world after wars and a deadly plague … more
A friend of mine last week recommended that I pick up Genesis by Bernard Beckett. A novella at 150 pages, he said it was a good read with an excellent ending. So, the library had a copy available and it was sent to my local branch within a day or two. I started reading last night, and finished it today. He was right... it's an interesting read dealing with a fair amount of philosophy, but the ending caught me totally off-guard. I was even thinking I knew what the ending would be since he had tipped … more
Genesis is an amazing and original book, I've never read anything like it before, granted I'm new to the dystopian genre. The book really challenges a lot of ideas that we never even think about because we think we already know the answers, I liked how much philosophy was in the book. I also really liked the author's take on what our world could evolve into in the not too distant future. The way the book was structured was very interested, basically the whole history of this … more
This small book is inherently provocative as it plunges into the distant future, 2075, when the world as we know it has finally spiraled into paranoia and endless wars in an orgy of self-destruction. Even for the common good, countries have been unable to overcome their mutual distrust. The result is The Republic, an area separated from a disintegrating world by a great sea wall, intruders scarce after years of war and plague outside the barrier. The structured society of the Republic … more