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Book reviews and discussions may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Missed Discussion

So I was travelling on a work trip and missed the whole on-line discussion and the announcement and everything else.

But I still want to play so I am going to post my comments here:

1) The book was written by a man so of course he doesn't know how to make his character say what women want him to say. David could make gloves out of leather, implying not only superb hunting but excellent skinning skills. He also had calluses and could find his way around without a map, both apparent marks of a real man. The reason everyone here loves Edward and Peeta (or Jacob or Gale) is because women know better how to create unrealistic expectations of men.

2) The idea that everyone looks normal and then requires an operation to "equalize" the playing field makes me feel non-special since I spent my whole life trying to develop skillz rather than try to focus on pretty-making (since it seemed hopeless at some point). It further reinforces a stereo type (even though it seems like he is trying to make it non-important) that being pretty is what makes one person better than another. The best part of the books and in my opinion the entire point is very understated in book 3 when in a very flippant manner Tally says something about how everyone knows it is your self-confidence that is the most pretty-making. I would have loved the series if that would have been the point because I believe that is kinda true. Oh I didn't read Extras so please let me know if I need to read that and shut my yapper right now.

3) I loved the whole concept of the 'rusties' though and the, again, subtle idea that a virus in the petroleum would end our society. Heh.

4) Smokies would have been an awesome idea if they actually lived the way that we do--they should have been called 'burbies' or something because the smoky concept only appeals to campers of which I am not one. Camping every once in awhile is fun but... yeah.

5) I am also bothered that we were meant to love Zane because he was smart and pretty. Oh I will say that I think Scott Westerfield is encouraging people to rebel against societal norms in a big way. Probably designed to be an insurrectionist novel for adolescent angsty types.

In the end, I considered them excellent reads and a fun way to fill time. I liked them for myself but would be hesitant to have someone from the intended audience, teenagers, to read them since I don't think the messages of rebellion, acting dangerous to clear your mind, or wanting to be pretty more than anything else are messages to help people overcome being the ugly one in school.

My recommendation to Scott Westerfield is to write a parallel series entitled "Funnies" to highlight that being funny, not pretty, is what should happen at the age of 16. Kids would be encouraged to read joke books, hang out with the landersons, and learn magic tricks. After all, not everyone can be funny.


Markie23 said...

I would definitely undergo surgery to become funny. I love funny people, which is why I hang out around here a lot.

Landee said...

Q, I also love how you go against societal norms/rules of the book club and post your review well after 8pm YOUR TIME on Sunday. You're such a bubbly Smokey!

And I wonder what they would have to do to an unfunny person to make them funny. Does the brain get mushier with humor? Or firmer?

Sam, Shel & Co said...

Markie, you are already one of the funniest people I know...

Landee...depends on the kind of humor. Skanky humor comes from mushy brains. REAL humor takes a sharp brain...

I missed the entire thing last night because I'm old and apparently brain-dead. Forgot all about it. Bummer....

Jenny ESP said...

Hmmm, you reminded me of something that sorta made me go "huh?"

Those Somkies had been out there for so long, and yet they had made so little progress. They were supposed to be smart, hard working, think-outside-the-box type people, but they were living like a group of homeless people. They definitely should have been living more like us, dorky duh.

Someone who is ugly but funny starts to gradually appear more attractive than they are, and someone who is pretty but has zero-personality starts to gradually appear less attractive than they are. That's why there are so many ugly funny people. It's a survival technique that dates back to the caveman days when everyone was ugly. But the Landersons were blessed with both qualities, of course.

Shel, you can still post your review though, right?

Memzy said...

Always a pleasure Queso.