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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystiopia Awaits
An environmental architect and planner and longtime population activist, Peter Seidel has written a troubling work of speculative fiction about environmental and social conditions in the U.S. and the world approaching mid-century. The book is a great yarn, but much more than that. Like much science fiction, it is a diagnosis and a warning, in this case a warning of the...
Published on April 27, 2009 by David Simcox

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Leftist's Nightmare Future
I've seen a lot of the reviews for this work comparing the vision it shares with the greatest of all dystopian novels, 1984. Just for the record, I have to disagree that it shares anything other than a dystopian theme with that novel. Instead, we see a sort of opposing view, but one that is just as important.

The story itself revolves around the awakening of...
Published on October 7, 2009 by A Christy


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystiopia Awaits, April 27, 2009
By 
David Simcox (Louisville, KY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
An environmental architect and planner and longtime population activist, Peter Seidel has written a troubling work of speculative fiction about environmental and social conditions in the U.S. and the world approaching mid-century. The book is a great yarn, but much more than that. Like much science fiction, it is a diagnosis and a warning, in this case a warning of the environmental and social ugliness mankind can expect in a mere three to four decades if we persist in our destructive pursuit of unending growth -- of population, consumption and concentration of political and economic power. Seidel's novel is a reminder that "business as usual" can lead to tragic, planet-altering consequences. If you savored such futuristic works as "Blade Runner" and Huxley's "Brave New World," you'll be right at home with Seidel's dark vision of a time not far off.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sleepwalkers Awake!!, July 30, 2009
By 
Dorothy Glanzer (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
Is Peter Seidel's new book, "2045," plausible? The thoughtful, observent, and informed person must unfortunately answer, 'Yes.' The signs are around us: the concentration of the media in fewer and fewer corporations, out of control population growth, the rise of religious extremism, symptoms of global warming, etc. These critical challenges are the milieu of Mr. Seidel's parable. Deteriorating cities and neighborhoods with widespread unemployment are served with appealing futuristic transportation systems. But it is a world where the commonwealth has become concentrated into the hands of a few sinister corporations. The plot is engaging, the characters believable. There is intrigue, murder, romance, villains, heroes and a resistance movement. "2045" is not a spoof or a farce, but a picture of the road up ahead that we are currently traveling on. If ever there was a time for real, passionate, perceptive and courageous heroes, it is now. Read this book and then do something to stop the global train wreck.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Leftist's Nightmare Future, October 7, 2009
By 
A Christy (Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
I've seen a lot of the reviews for this work comparing the vision it shares with the greatest of all dystopian novels, 1984. Just for the record, I have to disagree that it shares anything other than a dystopian theme with that novel. Instead, we see a sort of opposing view, but one that is just as important.

The story itself revolves around the awakening of our protagonist, Carl, after a 35 year coma from an insufficiently tested vaccine. This particular beginning is pretty important to the story because it illustrates the theme that mega corporations, and just plain corporate entities of all sizes, were getting away with "murder" even in our age. As Carl, a celebrity because of his long nap, moves his way through a world so entirely different, yet chillingly the same, we are introduced with him to the seductive nature and ultimately evil world of a corporate controlled future.

Others have detailed some of the spoilers and I wouldn't want to take away the surprises, but some general themes and concepts are that super corporations control the reality of the world via advertising, privatization of formerly government activities and outright purchasing power. People live in overcrowded conditions of nearly universal poverty yet spent their few funds on whatever is pushed on them by the overwhelming advertising they are compelled to receive 24 hours a day.

It is truly a dystopia. There is no question there. But what kind of dystopia?

Most of the recent popular dystopian books and movies such as Equilibrium (movie), V for Vendetta (movie), Unwind (novel) and Uglies (series) tend to focus on a government controlled world where there isn't a particular financial motive, but rather one of control or power. Ones like Unwind and V for Vendetta have nasty overtones of the fanatically religious far right while others like Uglies deal with simple control. 2045 is different in that it will feel more familiar to a lefter leaning crowd. The fear of runaway environmental impacts combined with unlimited corporate power and greed, as well as a certain hint of male dominated "old boys club" really resonates with the Democratic movement today and their own brand of doom-saying.

If I had to classify this, I would say it is more of an Anti-Orwellian piece or even an Anti-Huxley piece since the dystopian development actually followed the opposing path.

I rather liked the book in some ways. As a constitutionalist, I don't subscribe to the fearful doomsaying of either party but understand the potential for both. In that way, it didn't personally resonate. But the creativity and fullness of his dystopia did. It is certainly a work of passion.

This is supposed to be a work for young adults and teens, however I'd be hesistant to offer it to one without reading it as a parent first. There are some themes that are a bit grown up and an unformed political mind could very easily be warped by this. I offer the same warning as I did with Unwind, though it is precisely the opposite in sentiment, for that reason. There is little attempt at veiling the desire for a purely Blue agenda here in terms of redistribution of wealth, overtaxation of achievers, more social programs and the elimination of private corporations. This will be an irritation to those with center to right leaning ideals.

In terms of the environmental collapse described, there are some flaws but this is an area where most people, myself included, need to be more in touch with. Most of it he included very well within the context of Carl's travels and activities. It is something we should all look at today rather than 2045. Sometimes it is a little too clear that he is an activist and the rhetoric gets a bit thick.

I liked the book alright, but I wasn't overwhelmed by it. It needed to have some of the rough edges smoothed over and a less hammerish way of sending the message.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival and Morality, August 26, 2009
By 
This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
I found that Peter Seidel's novel is more than a book about the tragic consequences of man's misuse of nature. Seidel has developed a compelling story -- a story of conflict between self-delusion and rational thought, between self-preservation and conscience, and between self-gratification and fidelity. The story contrasts the imperfect nobility of his main character with the myopic self-aggrandizement of ambitious protagonists. He makes a final moral statement in a moving scene in which the main characters help relieve the miserable lives of their fellow human beings during the slow collapse of the world around them.

Technically, as a novel, I found that Seidel has written it with suspense, a steady pace, imagery and true characters. It would make a great movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hear the message of 2045: A Story of Our Future while there is still time!, August 30, 2009
This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
In his book 2045: A Story of Our Future, Peter Seidel takes us from the world of today, that we see crumbling around us, on an amazing journey into the new world where our society is rapidly heading. A man of true vision, Peter Seidel has captured the essence of the moral, social and economic decay that is happening throughout the world and takes us on a voyage into the frightening and amazing world of 2045 born out of that decay.
Although written in novel form, the book goes far beyond the telling of a story. As the reader enters the world of 2045, they quickly realize that they are in the midst of a reality check. With each passing day, the story told in 2045 is becoming more and more apparent in our lives. Health care problems, corporate graft, rising crime, global warming, destruction of the planet, marauding gangs, terrorist exploits, man's inhumanity to man, and the starvation of human kindness cry out to be heard from the pages of this book.
In some ways reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984, 2045 goes far beyond simple possibilities into true probabilities that we see developing before our very eyes today. Peter Seidel, an octogenarian, demonstrates brilliant insight, amazing perception, and a future vision far ahead of his time. With his vast life experiences, powers of observation, and diversity of training, he has the ability to speak to the issues of the future with authority.
2045 is a very entertaining novel, but it bears a warning for all who will hear - perhaps just in time - and yet, leaves us with a small ray of hope. For anyone interested in the future and ways to improve the outcome of our world, this book is a "must read". Great movie material; I can't wait to see it on the silver screen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20045 is a haunting novel and maybe one of the most important books of the decade., August 23, 2009
This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
2045 is a haunting novel and maybe one of the most important books of the decade.

After reading 2045, comparisons with Orwell's 1984 seem inevitable. Peter Seidel is no Orwell. He doesn't begin to have the literary output of an Orwell. But he does have an equivalent apocalyptic vision. More significantly, his book just may be more important
than Orwell's 1984. Norman Mailer once said that 1984's greatest service to mankind was that it made us aware and thus helped postpone, at least for a while, the world that Orwell
envisioned. When 1984 finally rolled around, we found ourselves, thankfully, quite some distance from the dark world of 1984 that Orwell wrote about. When the year 2045 rolls around, we can only hope that Seidel's novel, 2045, will have had a similar impact.

Who is Peter Seidel and what brought him to the place where he decided to write a novel? He
had never written a novel before. He doesn't have a literary background, a literary education or inclination. Seidel has been a practicing architect, a university professor and an urban planner who has always cared deeply about the environment. His first major book, Invisible
Walls, was a non-fiction work which laid out point by point what we have been doing to our planet and what we should do to save it. The book was a moderate success, read, for the most part, by those in the environmental movement, but not much by the general reading public. 2045 is obviously his attempt at reaching a larger audience.

Seidel's novel, 2045, tells the story of Carl Lauer, a Midwestern businessman, who has come out of a coma that lasted 35 years, and now finds himself in the brave new world of 2045. His wife is dead, his children have grown up, and the world that he once knew is gone forever.
What he wakes up to is a place where large parts of the western United States are a desert and the government and the press are under the influence of eight giant corporations which control nearly all the countries in the world. One reason why the novel works so well, is that even now in 2009, we see the beginnings of this corporate influence over the press, over the environment, over regional and national governments. We can sense only too well what may
be coming. This is Seidel's brilliance - his ability to project 35 years into the future and to show us what life will be like on this planet if we continue on our business-as-usual path.

Although this novel is extremely gripping and entertaining (at least on one level) it is not a cheerful book. It is dark and foreboding. And what I like best about the book is the ending.
It does not have a happy ending, where the hero overcomes huge obstacles and through his courage and intelligence saves the world. Instead it is an honest, sober, scientifically based account of what will most likely happen to us if we continue down our present path "of global descent into a human hell." Indeed it is highly reminiscent of T.S. Eliot's poem, The Wasteland -

"this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but with a whimper."

Seidel is on a mission with a stubbornness and passion which simply cannot be denied. He sat down and wrote the novel he knew he had to write. In the September of his years, he knew that if he were to reach more people with his message of saving the planet, he had to change mediums not the message. Undaunted, he persevered and finished one of the most important novels of the decade. It is up to us now to read it and pass it on to all our friends and neighbors.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Call for Change, August 12, 2009
By 
This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
I am writing this review as an ordinary, albeit left-leaning, US citizen with a fair degree of familiarity with the political and social issues of our time. Peter Seidel's novel, above all else, ultimately comes across to me as an act of love. Like many acts of love, it is clumsy at some times and glorious at others.

The world of 2045 is a bleak one. Seidel, as an environmental architect and planner, is a keen observer of today's more disturbing trends, and his protagonist awakens to their logical consequences should they continue unchecked--unruly technology, a dearth of resources, and manipulation of the masses by corporate superpowers who live hedonistically at the expense of all others.

The characters in 2045 are our ambassadors to a possible future of deprivation, hardship, and environmental disaster. Seidel was wise in his choice of a near-future scenario; the horrors he reveals in his novel have faces that are already recognizable to us, though they are as yet in shadow.

Despite the sometimes-stilted dialogue and description, 2045 is a gripping novel. It is a book to evoke thought and feeling; I felt this book. It was not an easy read, in terms of the emotions it inspired. I found it coming up often in my thoughts and in conversations with friends; it imparted a sense of urgency and awakening. My first impulse after reading it was to share it with others. Seidel and Carl Lauer have given us a gift--a chance to make changes before it's too late. It's a story that hits in the solar plexus, a gadfly of a novel, and--hopefully--an inspiration to its readers to take action now so the world of 2045 will forever remain fiction.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing., July 19, 2010
This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
I thought with some of the advance press for this, it would be a solid book. I strongly disagree.

The positives for this book begin and end with the fact that there's a solid idea underneath: I agree that this is a sort of leftist parable, as in what would happen if the liberals were allowed to "roam" unchecked. Of course, that's not going to happen.

This book is simply shamelessly derivative. There's nothing here that's new, and in fact, quite a bit that is stolen from elsewhere. Sure, someone mentioned 1984, and that's what most would look at in this situation. It's certainly represented. I would suggest "Harrison Bergeron" more, though: each time people were sitting by their teluter smiling and nodding at the silly TV shows, Bergeron came to mind.

This books is also very simply written, as though it were aimed at middle school children. If that's the case...I didn't know that upon starting this book.

As for the rest, it's a mixed bag of weakly-explained facts and thrown-together bits and pieces that follow Carl around after a long coma. I saw other reviewers talk about movies, too, and the "coma device" was used much more effectively in 28 Days Later.

This book can be skipped without a moment's hesitation, but with only 10 reviews now, I don't think it's much of a concern.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For any seeking for modern fiction with a dystopian twist, September 14, 2009
This review is from: 2045: A Story of Our Future (Paperback)
There's a pervasive fear of what could happen should corporations grow too powerful. "2045" is a novel of the near future where gigantic corporations have gained the grasp of almost everything in the world. Following a businessman of the early twenty-first century as he falls into a coma and wakes up four decades later, "2045" views the bleak future world through contemporary eyes. "2045" is worth considering for any seeking for modern fiction with a dystopian twist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So so, March 4, 2011
By 
ally "Ally" (Newport News, VA) - See all my reviews
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I love dystopia genre and after reading The hunger games, I was salivating for something else that was just as good. This fell short. My expectations were high and while this was a good concept, I felt at the end he just wrapped everything up quickly, left many loose ends, like he was in a rush to finish it. I wish he would done a good epilogue :(
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2045: A Story of Our Future
2045: A Story of Our Future by Peter Seidel (Paperback - March 24, 2009)
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