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A Reader of Fictions: Forever Young - Rod Stewart

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Monday, October 3, 2011

Forever Young - Rod Stewart

The Postmortal

Drew Magary
ARC Acquired from: Penguin

Brief Summary:

In 2019, a researcher stumbles across the cure for aging by accident while trying to figure out how to change hair color for good, because he wants to stop being a ginger. That's right. He cured aging. Of course, lots of people are really excited about this and go get the cure, even though its illegal. Others see it as the worst thing ever to happen to humanity and set out to prevent anyeone from reaping the benefits of it. One thing's for sure: being able to freeze the aging process at will has more consequences than anyone bargained for.

What an amazing book! Everyone knows I love dystopias, so imagine me doing a happy dance at finding a really great one. What I loved about this book was that Magary took such a philosophical view of the subject, considering the myriad reactions to and consequences of such a scientific breakthrough.

For example, people nowadays like to blather about the state of the family and all of that jazz, but imagine if everyone lived forever...could you make a marriage last indefinitely? When large changes happen, particularly dramatic ones, people turn to religion, so mightn't a new religion form? Because there are less deaths but the births aren't stopping, overpopulation is liable to become a huge problem. This might lead to harsher punishments for criminals, especially considering that it's one thing for the state to pay for life in prison for 60 some years and another to pay for what could be hundreds of years. Magary considers all of these issues and so many more...and I loved every minute of it.

The book starts with a frame story, a brief memo dated 2093, in which it is explained that the rest of the book consists of what are essentially diary entries by a man named John Farrell. These entries are intended to show why the cure can never be legalized. Starting the book off this way is a really interesting move, since it means that the reader has a good amount of knowledge of the ending at the beginning. This could seriously backfire, but it certainly didn't for me. Actually, the only thing I would change about it adding a brief frame story note to the end of the file as well.

I really want to see more from Drew Magary in the hopefully not too distant future, either later on in the post-postmortal society or some other fictional world entirely. If you love a book that makes you think or want something to incite some discussion in your book club, do not miss this one!

"And when you finally fly away
I'll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell"

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Blogger Nori said...

This is the bonus book I got with The Magicians! I'm really excited to read it now. Your review just made it sound amazing!

October 4, 2011 at 9:05 AM  

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