I recently started a monthly book club with some of my friends, and so far, we’ve read Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, both futuristic/sci-fi. I absolutely LOVED Speaker for the Dead, and I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. Speaker is the sequel to Ender’s Game (one of my all time favorites), and is the continuing story of Ender Wiggin, this time introducing a new alien race on the colony planet of Lusitania. The story revolves around shocking discoveries pertaining to this new species, and I didn’t expect some of the plot twists at the end of the novel. Speaker and Ender’s are extremely different for being part of the same series; the first deals with manipulation, games, and outwitting aliens, and the second with religion, the spread of technology to primitive races, and morality. Each can be read as a standalone novel, but Speaker is so much richer after reading its predecessor.
I did not, however, enjoy Brave New World as much. It was written in 1932, and I think, ahead of its time. BNW is sort of 1984-esque in the way that society is completely controlled, and the people are [mostly] okay with that. Morality and marriage were completely thrown out the window, with the continual saying, “Everybody belongs to everybody else.” The story was masterfully told and hard to put down, but I can honestly say that I didn’t really like it. Even though the characters were masterfully woven into the plot, they were weak by nature, driven by a need for entertainment and distraction. The plot reminded me of 1984 by the fact that the plot didn’t accomplish anything, as if it was just another event in a world that would never change. I highly recommend it, as Huxley was an amazing writer. It’s very different, but very relevant to culture today, since civilization today craves entertainment and things that make them “feel good.”
We’re reading Catcher in the Rye next, so you’ll get to hear my thoughts on that and many others to come. 🙂