2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Key book. Unique, timeless. Literary and cultural landmark,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shikasta Re: Colonised Planet 5 (Paperback)
With a haunting sci-fi setting, Shikasta's an extraordinary observation of humanity, our internal and external influences, origins and possible future. Doris Lessing commented that the book was not apocalyptic which is fair enough because balance and harmony ultimately prevail on Shikasta (Earth); but perhaps the person who provoked the response was focusing on our immediate future as portrayed in the book (i.e. epidemics and a nuclear holocaust). The future is not rosy but is kept as well tuned as possible with a greater necessity that lies beyond uneducated human comprehension; a potential comprehension blinded and befuddled by conditions on Shikasta due to the influence of the agents of a degenerate planet called Shamat (Sha mat is perhaps derived from the Persian, Shâh Mât, meaning 'the King is helpless' (or ambushed or defeated but, evidently, not dead). The words 'check mate' are a hobson-jobson derivation from the Persian 'Shâh Mât'.
I'm sure any reader will meet him or herself a number of times in this book, unless the influences of Shamat are too strong. I've read it time and again and listened to it on CD and always learn and observe new things thanks to the book. The scope is impressive, there's a huge amount to contemplate here. It's like a bomb full of useful ideas and points of view exploding in one's head scattering ideas everywhere. If there's a book I would recommend to everyone, it's probably this.