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Mockingbird av Walter Tevis
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Mockingbird (urspr publ 1983; utgåvan 2007)

av Walter Tevis

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,0554119,044 (4.04)19
In a world where the human population has suffered devastating losses, a handful of survivors cling to what passes for life in a post-apocalyptic, dying landscape. A world where humans wander, drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. A dying world of no children and no art, where reading is forbidden. And a strange love triangle: Spofforth, who runs the world, the most perfect machine ever created, whose only wish is to die; and Paul and Mary Lou, a man and a woman whose passion for each other is the only hope for the future of human beings on earth. An elegiac dystopia of mankind coming to terms with its own imminent extinction, Mockingbird was nominated for a Nebula Award for Best Novel.… (mer)
Medlem:stately_plump
Titel:Mockingbird
Författare:Walter Tevis
Info:London : Gollancz, [2007]
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Mockingbird av Walter Tevis (1983)

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» Se även 19 omnämnanden

engelska (34)  italienska (3)  finska (2)  spanska (1)  franska (1)  Alla språk (41)
Visa 1-5 av 41 (nästa | visa alla)
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
—T. S. Eliot (The Hollow Men)

In a grim yet quiet future, humanity is slowly dying out as each individual sinks further into themselves and togetherness is seen as a shameful violation of privacy. One man stumbles across the ancient art of reading and finds his perspective shaken. One woman, who deliberately slipped through the cracks years ago, is going to destroy it entirely. Her intellect, his sensitivity, and the suicidal longings of an android unable to forget anything will determine the ultimate fate of the species.

Readers should be advised there is a single, casual, racist use of "Indian" in this book in reference to the Indigenous peoples of North America. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Nov 13, 2023 |
Another book that has randomly turned up on my shelf from god-knows-where. At least this one turned out to actually be a sci-fi - according to the cover, in the tradition of 1984. And a quick glance at Goodreads seems to indicate mostly positive reviews. Nice.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the unusually large size of the print. This, combined with blank pages at the ends of chapters, meant that I could finish it in a single day - it was a lot less book that it pretended to be.

We enter a dystopian future where the art of reading has been forgotten and drug-addled human beings exist only in the present, and all the actual dirty work of running a society is done by an increasingly broken down army of robots that nobody knows how to repair any more.

It wasn't long before I started to notice odd dog-whistles in the text. Apparently the scientists who designed these robots were all atheists who arrogantly believed they could improve upon the work of the God they didn't believe in. All students are taught in university these days is yoga and pornography and the tenets of individualism and privacy. Taken to their extreme, this means humans no longer connect with each other on an emotional level, nor do they care for anything much beyond their own narrow existence. Families have been abolished and no children have been born in decades, but nobody has even noticed.

Paul, our hero and author insert, manages to rediscover the lost art of reading, and shares it with his new found love. They begin to transgress many of the new societies boundaries - they live together, go off drugs (except whiskey which is for some reason okay), and make love. Mary Lou breaks into a snake enclosure at the zoo and hands Paul a fruit from the tree inside. The author worries this may be too subtle for his readers so he presses the point home by telling us that Paul is sure this should mean something.

Of course, since this book is basically a 1984 rip-off sans depth and complexity, this is not to last. Paul is arrested and imprisoned for his crimes of reading and making love. If you have read 1984 I'm sure you remember the horrors Winston faced both on the physical and psychological level - I haven't forgotten them and it's fifteen years since I read that book in high school.

Paul, on the other hand, suffers mild physical labour and a bit of depression. Prison is actually quite nice, even good for him. He wants to escape anyway though. Just because, I guess.

Mary Lou, meanwhile, is the first pregnant woman in decades and has been kidnapped into a weird domestic type situation with a very advanced robot in a perfect human-like body. His brain is an exact copy of a particular human from centuries ago, but has been sliced and diced to remove all the unnecessary parts, like memories. Unfortunately it was a bit of a hack job and so the robot yearns for human aspects of existence, and is able to fall in love.

I've read about the "madonna-whore dichotomy", the idea that religious conservatives see women as fitting neatly into one of two categories - whore or virgin-mother perfection - but I always thought there's no way anyone actually thinks like that. This book has kind of ruined that for me.

See, the robot once fell in love with another woman but that was all ruined one day when he found her having sex. Now he's in love with Mary Lou, who he calls "Mary", who is pregnant through love not lust and ready to be a mother. Now the robot is dressing her in a similar manner as the first woman. Not subtle and also really weird.

Also really weird is the fact that the narrator is so oddly fixated on the fact that the robot is black (yes, somehow). Like Paul when handed a plastic fruit, I'm left feeling that this is supposed to mean something, but I can't figure out what. When Mary Lou breaks down and starts screaming at him "Devil! Devil!" I can only hope that this is not related.

As you might have gathered, this book has a lot of religious undertones. It's written in a childish and simplistic manner, though that is likely deliberate due to the characters' illiterate upbringing. The main flaw here, besides the heavy-handed religious stuff - is the lack of real depth. There's no real antagonist, no particular hardship or suffering, nothing. ( )
  weemanda | Nov 2, 2023 |
Estamos en el siglo XXI, en Estados Unidos. La civilización supertécnica está decayendo. La Universidad la dirige un robot llamado Spofforth. Paul es un profesor que sabe leer, aunque en esa época está prohibido. El robot le encarga unos trabajos sobre el cine mudo y Paul comienza a descubrir un mundo distinto. En sus paseos por el zoo, el profesor encuentra a una muchacha, Mary Lou, que vive allí de forma ilegal. Surge el amor entre Paul y Mary Lou. El robot los descubre; es delictivo tanto enseñar a leer como convivir con una mujer. Paul es encarcelado pero consigue huir de la prisión y se dirige a Nueva York. En las afueras de la ciudad hay colonias cristianas que se congregan para adorar a Dios. A Paul lo respetan porque les puede leer la Biblia. El robot ha cuidado de Mary Lou y de su hijo -fruto de su unión con Paul-, con el propósito de que ella lo mate, pues Spofforth está cansado de existir. Finalmente, Paul y Mary Lou logran reunirse y ambos huyen a California.
  Natt90 | Mar 8, 2023 |
Rating: 3.70

"Only the mockingbird sings at the edge of the woods", a quote from a book in the story.

Set in the 23rd century, we enter a world where robots distribute joints along with 'sopors', a valium-like drug that sterilize those who take them. As a result, there are no births, children or traditional families. Humans abide by the laws dictated which are severe, to say the least.

We meet Paul Bentley, a human and Robert Spofforth, a Make Nine robot who is both Dean of New York University and in charge of law enforcement. An NYU staff member, Bentley respects, honors and trusts him. An array of robots (Make One-Eight), are tasked with all varieties of work, food engineering and services, while 'thought buses' serve as transportation; buildings and streets fabricated from 'permaplastics'.

In this odd and futuristic world, writing, reading and books are not only forbidden but illegal. When Bentley learns of the 'ancient world' from an older human, he's led to a stash of silent films and while watching becomes fascinated by this unknown world of words. Hungry for more, he finds a a treasure trove of hidden books and over time perfects his ability to read; soon after he 'records' memories in a diary. As luck would have it, he meets Mary Lou and attractive yet introverted woman and decides to quit taking the sopors and smoking pot. With mutual trust established he shows her how he's been recording memories 'on paper' which stumps and fascinates her simultaneously.

Spofforth catches Paul reading and is soon convicted and sent to prison. During his first year of incarceration, an inmate directs him to library and among the books is the Bible. Unfamiliar with the ancient text or spirituality, as he studies life perspective changes. Desiring to be free, he breaks out with the objective of returning to Mary Lou in New York.

With Bentley out of the picture, Mary Lou moves in with Spofforth and over time comes to 'love' him. The story toggles back and forth from this odd relationship to Bentley's winter journey that weakens him with every step. As he nears Washington, DC he discovers the Maugre, a huge obelisk and manages to get inside. Here he discovers a tribe of religious people led by a large man called Barleen who also acts as preacher, never 'read' the Bible but somehow believes in God. An outsider and not to be trusted, Barleen decides Bentley must be disposed of but redeems himself by quoting from the Holy Book. Nicknamed "Reader", he's sought after for Biblical knowledge. Soon after he meets Annabel in the main kitchen who prepares meals for the members of the Maugre. Astonished how food really tastes, he works by her side and learns to cook, harvest foods and over time they build mutual trust and respect.

Suffice it to say this is a complex story whose themes impart the dangers of technology, food engineering, human rights, education, spirituality and more. While not Pulitzer material its themes and characters raise questions about what the future may hold. ( )
  Jonathan5 | Feb 20, 2023 |
Somehow feels like it was written a long time ago, mostly because of the strangely weird technology that seemed completely mishandled, sometimes too advanced (mind reading buses...) and otherwise not so much. The motivation of the main characters also felt a bit off at times. ( )
  Guide2 | Jan 30, 2023 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (19 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Walter Tevisprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Harman, DominicOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Marcellino, FredOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm and does not concern itself alone with stimulating arrangements of color, form, and design. Edward Hopper
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Wikipedia på engelska (1)

In a world where the human population has suffered devastating losses, a handful of survivors cling to what passes for life in a post-apocalyptic, dying landscape. A world where humans wander, drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. A dying world of no children and no art, where reading is forbidden. And a strange love triangle: Spofforth, who runs the world, the most perfect machine ever created, whose only wish is to die; and Paul and Mary Lou, a man and a woman whose passion for each other is the only hope for the future of human beings on earth. An elegiac dystopia of mankind coming to terms with its own imminent extinction, Mockingbird was nominated for a Nebula Award for Best Novel.

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