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About the Author. I recommend reading the Penguin Modern Classics edition for the introduction which provides fascinating insights into the author what a ghastly man! This dystopian novel by L. Hartley is surprising and maintains relevance for today's world - for instance, the growth of social media has led to some people aiming at the same particular look. My favourite section of the story was the trip to Ely; this was a highlight and had a suggestion of pagan responses to the surviving Christian symbol. I felt that the story and characters needed filling out, though the character of Jael is feisty , but on the whole I was intrigued.
I recently bought a copy of this off a Cambridge street vendor, and only partially because the title sounds a bit skeezy. The story is about Jael 97, a woman whose alpha-ranked looks have caused enough envy among her peers to make her consider having an artificial beta face fitted.
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Her post World War III society is governed by a mysterious dictator, whose seemingly arbitrary commands seem intended to keep everyone equal in mediocrity. When one of the dictator's decisions affects Jael in an unexpe I recently bought a copy of this off a Cambridge street vendor, and only partially because the title sounds a bit skeezy. When one of the dictator's decisions affects Jael in an unexpected way, Jael's vague dissatisfaction with the state becomes a quest to subvert it.
This is the kind of book that you read more for the ideas behind it than the story. The plot is sometimes light on detail, and I wish it had been fleshed out a bit more.
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We do get a good amount of information on the society. It was an interesting read, and a fairly quick one. Some of the book's points were made in overly repetitive ways, and some aspects seemed superficial. I would suggest against reading the description on the back cover or the introduction, because they contain at least one detail that happens late enough in the story that I'd consider it a spoiler. I changed the Goodreads description to leave that part out.
Sep 03, Alice rated it liked it Shelves: british-authors. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Gave this book a go as I do love a good dystopian. One thing I will say about it is that L. P Hartley's writing is both eloquent and effective. This book definitely has the perfect balance of description and plot for me personally.
The book is a dystopian where the third world war has left only 20 million people on the planet. These people lived underground for many years and were ruled by a cruel regime, which used threats and torture to maintain order. But this doesn't last long, and 3. But this doesn't last long, and the establishment is soon brought down by an anarchist who brings the people up to live on the surface. This person then becomes the 'darling dictator' as they like to be known and rules the land by means of a telecom system.
I will say, the world that Hartley has built is rather ridiculous. This 'darling dictator' or should it be Darling Dictator is a fan of alliteration and enforces such punishments as having to perform a dance after saying a forbidden word. This almost feels as though Hartley is making fun of dystopians.
Unlike a lot of dystopian novels, this dictatorship in this one is not one of violence or particularly harsh threats. The dictator actually comes across as rather weak, and when we find out at the end of the book who and what the dictator actually is, it certainly does bring up questions on Hartley's opinions on the particular type of person the dictator is trying not to spoil things too much here.
There is some slight romance in this book, which is very brief and not at all necessary. This is one of the many things which Hartley stretched out a little too much. Overall, the idea of the book was good but the execution and attention to detail was not. If you like dystopians I would recommend you give this book a go. If not, it might be one to miss.
May 22, Flora Ludacris rated it really liked it. Boy was I wrong. Hartley spun the story beautifully, with his beautiful, clear usage of the English language. It's not much a romance novel, but more about the society the story was set in. I have always enjoyed descriptive and detailed paragraphs. This book was the epitome of it.
Despite not having much plot, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story that circled around Jael's character development, changes in mindset as 4 stars When I first found the book on the bookshelf, it didn't look appealing. Despite not having much plot, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story that circled around Jael's character development, changes in mindset as she transited from a conformist to a rebel.
Like in the New State , you're expected to use instinct rather than intellectual which was what Jael disliked. The story was not much abt what types of rebellion Jael staged, but more of the concept of the society she was trying to alter and improve. Even though the society was flawed where citizens complied to the Dictator unquestioningly, it wasn't very constrained. They could still do what they want, for example falling in love, conspiring behind closed doors, having sex etc. So not altogether a very dystopian society but I still rather enjoy the words in the book albeit lengthy. On a side note, I realised sedatives were always used to calm crowds and suppressed chaos in a dystopian society.
It's always abt the lack of freedom of expressions that cause discord smh.
Time has not served this novel well. It is more of an essay on the period it was written than a true post-apocalptic novel, and it reads poorly. Interesting insights are built up and then flounder, or are put aside for no particular reason. The disjointed plot is bogged down by statements and questions which advance nothing other than speculation. Jael - the main character - undergoes a curious personal ignominy which never really feels relevant to the faceless multitudes. In fact, poor charac Time has not served this novel well.
In fact, poor characterisation sinks this novel. We simply do not care. Aug 10, A rated it liked it Shelves: read-in An interesting dystopian novel that focuses more on community dynamics than specifics of an oppressive government. I found myself enjoying it until the final few chapters, where it seemed to suddenly die out in a predictable and disappointing manner disregarding any prior characterisation, as if the author had suddenly decided he had had enough.
FACIAL JUSTICE by L.P. Hartley | Kirkus Reviews
I wouldn't be surprised to discover it was written on a tight deadline. Nonetheless, there are worthwhile examinations of equality and envy to be found An interesting dystopian novel that focuses more on community dynamics than specifics of an oppressive government. Nonetheless, there are worthwhile examinations of equality and envy to be found within.
Very odd take on politics and religion, with unclear resolution. At times it seems like a satire of egalitarianism, at other times playing with the relationship between God and free will. Maybe we are to read a christian message in it, or maybe not. Nice to see discussions of "privilege" and female erasure appearing in nascent form. If you like this you might like "The Illuminatrix" by Thackray Seymour, but I make no promises on that.
Jul 02, Matt Wanner rated it it was amazing. In order understand this book, it needs to be read twice. Il Dittatore, colui che tira le fila non l'ha mai visto nessuno, di lui si sente solo la voce durante i suoi sermoni formativi. Jun 26, Maria White rated it it was ok. Another take on a dystopian post-apocalyptic novel reminiscent of H.
Wells, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. There are some thought provoking ideas here about a society where individuality is seen as the major evil and is to be eradicated. The novel creates a scary two-dimensional world, a lunatic asylum on a grand scale where all inhabitants are addressed as patients and delinquents and where plastic surgery is used indiscriminately 'to betafy' the majority of women. It is unsettling and frig Another take on a dystopian post-apocalyptic novel reminiscent of H.
It is unsettling and frightening to see how the notions of equality and justice get twisted and corroded into a monstrous charade in society which always holds the best interests of its citizens at heart. Jul 29, Rob rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy , There are plenty of good ideas here, although occasionally Hartley falls too deeply in love with these ideas and spins them out too long.
The narrator intrudes and sometimes reduces Jael 97 to something of a cipher. The "twist" is also predictable because of Hartley's unbalanced sympathies when he introduces the character. However, all in all there is a pace and a flow of striking points that make this post apocalyptic vision gel and attract. May 30, Dead John Williams rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed. Good old British dystopia. In an age where beauty if forbidden women have to undergo disfuguring operations to remove their natural beauty.
A good read From the author of The Go-Between. Dec 10, Yael rated it it was amazing. Feminist dictatorship FTW -- would love to see a good movie version. Interesting but cold dystopian novel. Complex but rather full of itself and perhaps with less to say now than it did at the time of publication. Jun 21, Joshlynn marked it as to-read Shelves: burgess This sounds like the title of a porno taking place in a courthouse.