Thursday, February 07, 2019

Books read in 2019: No. 9 -- A Very Private Life

by Michael Frayn

Started: Feb. 6
Finished: Feb. 7

Notes: I wouldn't call this the most famous of sci-fi novels, but its title is one I recognize. Since I've been on a sci-fi binge of late, thought I'd give it a go.

Mini review: Decently written in an odd style that mixes together present and future tenses, this tells the story of a young woman who is brought up within the sheltered confines of an inner world, a house she calls it though it seems to be more than that. Rebelling against her parents and her brother and falling in love through an accidental electronic (sort of) communication with an unknown individual, the young woman flees her world of safety for the outside world, a world which she did not know existed and which she soon discovers offers plenty of pain and uncertainty, and a world for which she is woefully unprepared but manages to survive through by the kindness of some and her own dumb luck. To tell more would do a reader a disservice, so I'll stop there. While I won't claim this as a classic of science fiction, it is more thoughtful than a lot of modern works in the genre, and I would say it borders on being a classic and might have been if it had been written better. Or at least that's my opinion. Read it for yourself and make up your own mind. It's a quick read and not a difficult one, though it is a bit confusing in some few places, mainly because some of the characters don't speak English and the author doesn't explain what is being said (then again, perhaps another reader would recognize the languages as they seemed to be from the real world -- one I believe was French).

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