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Important Ideas, Mediocre Delivery
on 27 May 2014
I gave it three stars purely on strength of the importance of the ideas; I would've rated the story line two stars at best. The writing was okay at times, in my opinion, but like the story itself is not up to the task of realizing the ideas presented.
The value of the novel lies entirely in the research it was based on. which in my observation is almost spot-on. The book fictionalizes very well the process of shifting the debate from "We have individual rights" to "What kinds of rights might the Powers That Be permit us?" The speeches of the villain are almost worth the price of the novel in themselves. They were so well-written that I almost felt myself falling under the spell of the "The masses are far too stupid and ignorant to be entrusted with the task of running their own lives!" As a demonstration of this point, please note the chorus of "But liberty is a wingnut idea!" that usually greets claims that we're well on the way to becoming an Orwellian police state here and in America. "Why should we care if we're monitored and controlled 24/7 if we're not doing anything wrong!"
People who say these things are living proof of the book's thesis. And therein lies the value of the book. People may hate its amateurish style and sloppy plot line, but the facts and ideas presented may stick to some degree in readers' heads. Or so I hope.