on 15 May 2006
This book explores the impact the lack of immortality. What if science could find the clue to immortality? What would happen to our concept of God, of religion, of trascendence, of life?
The world is ruled in practice by a giant corporation which keeps peolple preserved in cryogenic tanks. Their hope is that some day the cure for all disease will be found, and moroverm that immortality - and eternal youth will be found. The time is nearly come, but in the mean time society has nearly disappeared, changed into a mess of penny saving, hard fisted people, whose only horizon is to save for their "second life". No cinemas, no shows, no spending...
When a top executive gets by chance an internal report without knowing, a company mathematician vanishes, some other accidents happen that change his life.
This, as other Simak's novels is a provocative book, more focused on the theme than in the characters or the plot. As usual, the shadow of the Cold War, and the budding crisis of the prevailing American values are there.
on 24 March 2012
This is not quite Simak at his best but it is close.
This is a book about human nature, and examines the idea of the pursuit of immortality in a very unusual way.
The world here is a grim place with all the joy sucked out of it by hope in immortality, in many ways it is an attack on religion but the religion in the story is scientific.
As well as the main plot we see snapshots of the world through little intermission chapters showing the activities of ordinary people.
This is a very cynical book, which paints a grim picture made all the more disturbing by how believable it is, a little darker than Simak's norm.
The plot is straight-forward enough with a few twists and turns thrown in and the ending is well done.
The book is let down a little by the characters, none of them are very interesting, this is really a book about ideas and speculation not characters.
A great read but with a more interesting main character this would have been 5 stars.