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Friday, September 7, 2018

VoxVox by Christina Dalcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes, this book fills me with rage. Other times, incredulity.

Still other times, a bit more incredulity.

And yet, I can say that I definitely liked this book. Not love. But I certainly liked it.

The good:

Clearly emotional text, a story I can wrap myself in, and an absolutely disgusting near-future where all women are literally silenced. No more than a hundred words a day.

Sounds like the premise to a misogynist joke, right? Oh, but wait, all women have a choice to be good silent angels or they'll be forced to be whores.

The trick to this novel is how the author gets from Point A (our world) to Point B, which clumps a whole nation into reactionary 50's idealist right wing religious nutters who go a few steps over the fundamentalist Muslim line.

When it works, it works well. All my rage was reserved for a humanity that could let this come to pass, and for the souls of the women suffering in this. A bit of my incredulity sat within the lines of the novel, wondering just how bad a species we could be.

The bad:

The other side of my incredulity. This is a dystopia, sure, and in most cases, we absolutely MUST put a degree of belief suspension in our cup.

Unfortunately, once I get out of our MC's head and think about the actual world, the circumstances that made this worldbuilding come to pass is patently broken. The rest of my incredulity is reserved for not being able to image a way that this could have come to pass. Not by religious fundamentalism. A president and a vocal minority CAN wield a lot of power, but I simply couldn't see how THAT many people could remain silent and go along with it.

Examples of Hitler aside, even THAT situation had at least a few dozen factors converging at the same time that middle America didn't suffer, and then there was... EVERYONE ELSE who isn't a WASP.

As long as I held my tongue and turned off my brain, I still enjoyed this novel quite a bit. :)

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