Posted by: Arkay | July 8, 2008

Thanks, misterbooks!

A few days ago I spotted a post on misterbooks weblog regarding the novel Idlewild by Nick (son of Carl) Sagan (you can see the original post here).

I decided I have enough comments about it that I’d do my own post. First let me say I’ve never yet been steered wrong by mister books (on anything), and this was no exception. Immediately after starting reading, and all the way through to the end (one sitting only) I saw what drew him to give the book the ratings he did. (it’s absolutely a 100% lock in his wheelhouse). I see him relating completely with the Sense of disconnect/Twin realities coexisting that is so well constructed.

As for me, I connected about 80% with it, but for the genre (post apocalyptic plague cyber punk) that’s a very high rating for me. And it stands alone as probably the best first person narrative I’ve ever read. I felt like a butterfly following a prescribed erratic path, alighting here and there on a beautiful flower, partaking of it’s sweet nourishing nectar. I found many things that reached me, and I’d like to relate a few here.

First, there are about a dozen potential blog titles that jumped out at me, the best still being from page 3 – “A strange organ, the brain.”

Then there’s the list of Artists to view: Hieronymus Bosch, Magritte, Ensor, Schiele, Klimt, Ernst, none of which I’ve even heard of except for Klimt.

And now some quotes that stood out for me in bright neon:

“…Come, you have to admit the mattress dance is just a dance. And love, with a capital ‘L,’ is merely sleight of hand, doled out by genetic edict in order to keep the DNA flowing. It’s all genetics. And beyond that, it’s all just zeroes and ones. But friendship, with an unpretentious lowercase ‘f.’ is real and right and valuable.”

(Highly ironic that these words comes from Mercutio in the novel, but the last line is veritas for me.)

“Call it The Great Law of Unintended Consequences – nothing destroys like success.”

(said in relation to groups/organizations/corporations etc. The more successful something becomes, the more it destroys along the way. So, so true – zero sum game defined.)

“Shield words are quick words you wouldn’t use in an ordinary conversation; they’re meant to immediately protect you from a virtual peril. I’ve always believed they represent a kind of wish fulfillment because when you’re a baby, preverbal, you pray for words. Words with power, words that open, special words to be treasured, softly spoken, hidden away. Magic words that cause change. Speak up and receive the power to change the world. I’d forgotten my word, of course.”

(incredible insight, no?)

Well, that’s my take on Idlewild, I hope you found something here to peak your interest.



  1. Well, I’m glad you liked the book, and hope you like the second one, which is the same but different. Kinda written in a Bram Stoker Drac style.
    Your review makes mine look like a 5 year old with finger paint. You’ve made great points that I could of never gotten down on paper the way you did. Bravo to you Mr. Critique.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: