Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Genesis by Bernard Beckett
“What does it mean to be human?” The answer lies within the mystery of Genesis. Set in a postapocalyptic future, the novel takes the form of an examination undergone by young Anaximander as she prepares to enter an enigmatic institution known simply as The Academy. For her subject she has chosen the life of the philosopher-soldier Adam Forde, her long-dead hero. It is through Anax’s presentation and her answers to persistent questioning by her examiners that we learn the history of her island Republic, along with the rules and beliefs of their society. At the completion of the examination, when everything has been laid bare, Anax must confront the Republic’s last great secret, her own surprising link to Adam Forde, and the horrifying truth about her world.
Like the great writers Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick, Bernard Beckett explores the relationship between humans and technology in a brilliantly rendered novel that will keep readers guessing until the final page.
wowwhatabookbecausegoodgolly awesome book! I feel numb and impressed. For all who say that YA isn't complex given all the flip and reads of late, well why don't yall give Genesis a go. Anaximander lays down their history in a systematic, step by step fashion, but despite the linear progression of her retelling the ending still packed a whallop.
I do not know where to begin but I will point out that saying this is YA limits it considerably. It's not just YA (and perhaps not YA at all.) Because for such a short piece, there's a lot in it. It's Philo 101. It's Intro to Poli Theory. It's sci-fi at it's most concise. Ohmygaad... it's mind melting.
"He chose words carefully for the sound they made or the shape of the ideas they folded into."
"Many scholars have complained of our tendency to see history only in conflicts, but I am not convinced they are right. It is in conflict that our values are exposed."
"The truth that being a person is beneath me...
you flower young and slowly rot...
and that is beneath me."
"This is always the problem with building heroes. To keep them pure, we must build them stupid."
"I try not to be surprised. Surprise is the public face of a mind that has been closed."
I've only ever imagined what Charlton Heston felt when he discovered what was over the sand dunes in Planet of the Apes. This ending makes me imagine that feeling all over again.
Shout out to Sir Salinas in Intro to Poli Theory at UPB! It's been a while since I thought of you and your class, but damned if I'm not impressed by how all encompassing some of your sessions were because a lot of what you said is touched upon in Genesis. That course content such as yours could coincide with a "YA" novella is quite impressive/mindmelting!