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The Simulacra
Author:
Pub Year:
Source:
Read: 2018-03-28
Last Update: 2018-03-28

Five Sentence Abstract:

At its core, there are several intertwined stories that barely mingle, teasing for a moment when everything will come together, but it never comes. There are plenty of seemingly random going-ons each of the characters engages in, giving hope that the character building will lead to some ah-ha moment, some revelation, some climax that never comes, despite lots of set up. The world is built in the vaguest of terms; the science fiction aspect is never fleshed out, left as barely described background that the reader is free to project onto. The wholly unexplored time travel and relpol (religious politics) were little more than parlor tricks, seemingly to squeeze ill-conceived Nazi references in as frequently as possible while supposing to build, but failing, a world of authoritarian overtones. The saving grace is found in its mildly predictive power from 50 odd years ago, mindless entertainment, politically powerful women, massive regulation and favoritism by government, underground markets, and even a touch of mind control - apropos if it ever was.

Thoughts:

Technical

The vocabulary seemed monotonous and the prose short. I felt no connection to any of the characters, though they were well constructed, seemed to have no soul.

Each chapter is generally split into two unrelated parts. While I have no disagreement from a technical standpoint, the fact that there was no delineating mark, the text simply continued, made for a jarring transition. It made you think you missed a paragraph; a simple line would have sufficed. Was this done for some effect? If so, I didn't get it.

Technically, unimpressed.

Creative

Too much Hitler, Jews, Hitler, Jews! I can't get away... The time travel almost felt like an excuse to shoe horn Nazis in and fill any plot gaps with "he knows because, time travel!"

That said, the time travel is never really explored, it is simply there. Again, felt like a crutch for the plot.

It follows several circles of characters, most of which never interact with other circles. The stories feel intertwined, they feel like they are all leading to some explosive conclusion, but it never got there. The end, while it did come out of left field, was anti-climactic. I finished thinking "that's it?"

It was all hat and no cattle. Even then, it was a worn out hat. It felt like the characters are simply going about their business. In fact, most of them were literally going about their business.

While there was a lot of stereotypical science fiction, psy, flying cars, migrate to mars, the robots, the papoola, none of these were really developed. It was all regulated to the background, understated, left to the imagination, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but, for example, the jalopy lots, they are supposed to be... big, and they can fly. The jalopies themselves? More than mysterious, non-existent.

The story itself starts nowhere special and ends, somewhere else, but that somewhere else didn't feel like it was coming, nor did it hit me as a surprise. It wasn't neatly packaged, leading you to a conclusion, nor was it noir enough to keep you guessing, it just... was. Not that a story has to be either of those, but I personally couldn't identify with any of the characters, I didn't care what they were doing, and I found no closure, or even a feeling of "I wonder what happens next?" at the end.

Creatively, unimpressed.

Exceptional Excerpts:

Notes:

Table of Contents

One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Eleven
Twelve
Thirteen
Fourteen
Fifteen

One

page 6:

Two

page 15:

Three

page 19:
page 20:

Four

page 31:
page 32:
page 33:
page 35:
page 37:

Five

page 47:

“I mean, how are you going to work an event like that into your Weltanschauung? It’s just too damn dreadful. It unhinges you. And the worst part is that it’s so dreadful it’s almost funny.”

Six

page 52:

Seven

Eight

page 74:

Nine

page 90:

Ten

page 101:

Eleven

Twelve

page 138:
page 141:

Thirteen

page 147:

Fourteen

page 163:

Fifteen











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