Most helpful positive review
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triumphant yet cautionary tale of good vs evil with a relatable twist
on 10 July 2011
the following review contains some information about the story and what happens
I loved that this book was so brave in its message of good vs evil, yet spinning the common idea of good vs evil on its head. I agree that Becketts writing style seems quite bland, but please take note that the book is written in first person narrative, and remember the history and environment of the protagonist, who has been surrounded by the hard cold face of scientific fact all his life in Illyria. I think that the writing style serves a purpose in this way, and only makes the reader more emphathetic with Georges story.
In a world where the fear of religious fundamentalism is very real and the disasterous results of which have affected thousands in the west, one could see how it might be easy to fall into a reactionary, defensive fundamentailsm, which we recognise in Illyria.
The fact that Georges mother (who has suffered horrendously at the hands of religious fundamentalists) is so unhappy with her life in Illyria she employs the drastic techniques to escape she does is a powerful message; the idylic state of Illyria may not be all it seems.
It seems that the state free of fundamentalism has its own laws and practices, which becomes more and more apparent with (a) Georges dissilusion with his lack of 'spiritual' understanding and (b) the treatment of Lucy when she becomes defective (which ultimately George succumbs to and participates in.
Throughout the couples flight Lucy's importance a as character serves only as a vehicle in which George assesses himself. However, the ultimate central role the robot plays was a revelation to me, which i thought was very brave of Beckett considering the controversial ramifications of writing a robot as a deity. However, the irony of Lucy being initially a man made object (and a hedonistic sinful symbol) to becoming a self-thinking moral and intelligent organism I found delightful and enjoyed Lucy's journey (albeit through the eyes of george) as much as Georges himself. I particularly enjoyed the almost religious symbolic 're-birthing' Lucy endures when she is burned by the religious mob.
I believe that this book is much more than a Sci-Fi novel, it has moral, biblical and philosophical undertones that will be applicable to everyone, and therefore should be read by everyone, religious or scientific. The main message that is evident is one of moderation, questioning the realities of dangerous and parocheal values, which is somewhat of an important message in todays society.