Thursday, July 14, 2011

 

Top-Up on Tepper

A Sister informed me that Sheri S. Tepper had published a new novel so I hied me hence to the ebook store and loaded The Waters Rising onto my Kobo, as the library didn’t seem to have it yet. It was good for quite a while and then it fell apart, into ridiculousness. I had already reserved another SST at the library, though, my interest being rekindled: It was The Family Tree, and I soon beheld some of the pieces of Waters: a world from which humans had been removed (could have been either the plague or the Big Kill of Waters); outraged nature taking a stand; secret hidden repositories of tech and knowledge. A friend mentioned she had stopped reading SST because it was all getting too political and agenda-driven and I can see, in these books, why she thought so. Maybe I caught a whiff of that possibility myself after reading The Frescoes, and that was my semiconscious reason for not reading more....

Anyway, also read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I loved The Corrections in spite of my antipathy toward sweeping novels of social commentary: why? I tried to figure it out while I was enjoying Freedom, which I did, very much. I think it’s because both novels are so strongly character driven, and the rants/wanks are pretty well contained. And many times Franzen hits upon things I have been quietly wondering about myself: like the disappearance of the overpopulation problem, which I remember being taught when I was in elementary school (along with “ecology”, which simply became “the environment”). I think about this problem every time I pass another housing farm in my rapidly-developing suburb, each one chock full of people from countries far more populated and competitive than mine; and I think about all the fertile topsoil that was trucked away from the land beneath these hectares of houses; and about how this urban area has enough food within it to feed its population for only three days.... Time to go outside and listen to the birds for a while, I think. 

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