- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: David Fickling Books (7 Jan. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385617895
- ISBN-13: 978-0385617895
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,124,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
WE Paperback – 7 Jan 2010
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"It is packed with ideas and unexpected turnings. Dickinson, formerly known as a writer for children, has produced a gripping, thought provoking thriller in his first science fiction novel for adults, one that works on the human and the cosmic scale alike" (Lisa Tuttle The Times)
"This is absolutely top notch, classy stuff . . . It's beautifully written, with a sparse and elegant style that suits both the isolation of the environment and the isolation of its central character . . . It's an immensely rewarding book: demanding but beautiful - and as suitable for adults as it is for older teenagers . . . I can't recommend it highly enough" (Jill Murphy thebookbag.co.uk)
"This is cracking stuff. Beautifully written in crystal clear prose, you can practically put your finger in the spaces Dickinson has left to let the narrative breathe . . . Thought-provoking, stylish and immensely enjoyable WE would make a fine addition to anyone's library but for a science fiction fan it is a must buy" (sci-fi-london.com)
"Essentially a convincing psychological thriller, this book also raises thought-provoking questions about our reliance on the internet and social networking, and about where it will eventually lead us . . . WE is a challenging and satisfying read" (Kunak McGann Inis)
"Thought-provoking, cleverly written, intense and chilling" (Rosie Scribble)
A gripping sci fi thriller for YA readers.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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In this latest novel he has foreseen a real, and really frightening, possibility and drawn its implications into a work of terrifying, bleak beauty. I could imagine a philosophy graduate enjoying this for its meaty ethical questions, a physicist respecting the detailed research and an artist wanting to paint the stunning visual descriptions, just as much as my 11-year-old son loved it for its constant action and unpretentious language. As for me, I would normally keep well clear of dystopian science fiction but this drew me in from the first sentence and I just had to know what happened next. Despite the cold, dark, lonely, horrifying atmosphere he generates (with its little specks of human warmth) I have no regrets at going out of my comfort zone.
This author's work is truly first class and I look forward to reading whatever he publishes next... regardless of the genre label it might carry. What a storyteller!
It is still worth reading and indeed thought-provoking, but it does seem very short and I feel a bit short-changed and disappointed. It is almost as if the author lost interest or was under pressure to meet a deadline.
Paul Munro is separated from the World Ear, the one thing that almost all the population of Earth now use to communicate. It can allow instant discussion and interaction while providing a platform to have feedback and opinions at a mere thought. Once this has been removed, Paul feels very lonely and had to adjust to life with what feels like inferior and slower interaction. However, he has done this for a reason and soon embarks on an eight year frozen voyage across the solar system to his new home where he will take up the position of communications officer on an ice moon where only four humans live, and the World Ear is a distant memory.
On this moon he lives with three others -Lewis, Van and May - and must be a vital part of the team that keeps the moon in operation. He must deal with the loss of the World Ear, learn to engage in conversation and human interaction in a way he has never before needed to do, and he must solve the problem that is plaguing the communications to Earth. With all of these little things adding up it gets too much for Paul and events take an interesting turn.
The setting is definitely one of the highlights of WE and John Dickinson does a fantastic job of creating a haunting atmosphere and the feeling of complete isolation. The explanations and detail given of the station is realistic and believable and it felt like the fifth member of the group. The distance involved between the station and Earth mean that communication can take up to eight hours, and with the absence of the World Ear on the station it can feel like an completely alien civilisation.
The characters are also great and help bring the story to life. Munro is our main character and it's through his eyes that we see what Earth is like before heading into the outer reaches of the solar system. It is his struggle to adjust that pushes the story forward and his determination that shows just how much of his humanity was lost on Earth. His new colleagues - Lewis, Van and May - are supportive when they can be, but are also trying to deal with a new member of their group that has very little social skills. The views each of these characters hold also become a key part of the story and it allows Dickinson to explore what it is to be human very effectively.
I found this such a great read and I was very pleasantly surprised by the prose and style of WE - I'll look forward to anything else John Dickinson writes. Highly recommended.
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