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Against Peace and Freedom Paperback – March 21, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
I definitely came ahead on that deal as Against Peace and Freedom is well worth the purchase price.
I'd describe it more as witty than truly comedic, it has a serious, well constructed world. It is often uproariously funny but it doesn't depend on throw away one line gags and definitely has somber moments.
I felt like it both flowed very quickly, an easy read, while at the same time, being...dense, is the only word I can think of, I was a hundred pages in and felt so much had already happened.
My most significant complain is New Bharat. It feels as well put together as the rest of the universe, and I don't think it's really due to a lapse of writerly ability, but the world has a 'libertarian "utopia" ' vibe to it. The world feels more farcical than well-constructed and hilariously bureaucratic Okura. I think that boils down to that the premise of the world being so absurd however well the author portrays it.
If your problem with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the poor construction of the world or lack of plot, this is your cup of tea. I think it has the potential to reach classic status, certainly cult classic.
It made me laugh. It made me think. It made me wish there was more.
Well worth the gamble of a few dollars. I may end up buying a paper copy just to have something to lend.
The second-person voice takes a while to get used to, but it isn't overpowering and I found that eventually I stopped even noticing it. The history of the Incatena (available at his website) is extremely well-prepared and organized, but isn't introduced in endless expository chapters. Creating authenticity through world-building (or galaxy-building) while not letting it get away is an art that many sf authors have yet to achieve, but I suppose I should have expected it from the author of both the Language Construction Kit and the Planet Construction Kit.
I've tended to stay away from comic sf lately. But Against Peace and Freedom contains enough content outside of the humor to be more than a collection of jokes, and Rosenfelder isn't afraid of developing jokes over entire chapters in addition to the requisite one-liner parenthetical statements and footnotes. It's a fairly fast read too, which is nice for a comic novel.
A good book.
For all its one-liners, this is a very clever satirical novel, and the best worldbuilding I've read since "A Song of Ice and Fire" -- plenty of the background can be found for free on the author's website, and the work he's put into it shows. Is this, and the subtitle, a sign we can look forward to more novels exploring the other worlds of the Incatena? I for one would love to read more about Homeland and Armonia.
The second-person narration works better than expected. I'm not sure to what degree this reflects the story's origins as an adventure game, but I also don't think it would have been quite so funny if it were told more conventionally. The opportunity for the narrator to occasionally call out the protagonist is used with restraint and wit.
I loved it so much I read bits of it out loud to my wife!
If you happen across this in your search for something new and different to read, don't hesitate, buy it you will not be disappointed.
The book itself is nicely paced and contains myriad jokes that make it make it more than just a book about science. In fact, it's really not so much a book about science. It's certainly science fiction but there's a story beneath the technology which should allow this book to appeal to more than just the hard science fiction readers.
Finally, what I would consider one of the most interesting features of this book is that it's written in 2nd person perspective. The whole book is written as if YOU are the main character. You do this, this happens to you... It's only the second book I've ever read in 2nd person and it certainly sets the book apart.
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