- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Social Contract Pr (December 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1881780074
- ISBN-13: 978-1881780076
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 291 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Raspail’s credentials are a lifetime spent in world travel and dispassionate sociological examination. He is an expert on recognizing the elements that lead to the extinction of civilizations and societies and has written a novel (a novel, not a government document) whose premise is the end of Western civilization, drawing heavily on past European and African revolutions and biblical theology. Even as an English translation, the writing is powerful and a deeply intellectual and an analytical mind shines through. Apocalyptic scenarios are sketched with humour and whimsy and a clear appreciation of the absurd.
Raspail reiterates that this is a parable: a superficial story combined with a deeper message. People who read the novel, anxiously searching to apply labels of racism, imperialism, supremacism, fascism etc, will be quickly satisfied, since after all one of the central themes is the toxicity of this behaviour and its consequences to society, and they are immediately and effectively caricatured. Don’t be intimidated by anyone into missing this incredible novel, every page is precisely tuned to evoke an emotion. The intellectual terrorism wielded abundantly by characters in the novel, is in plain view in many of the reviews and articles that you see. Raspail has an earthy approach that is more easily identified with the many societies he has observed, and his unflinching imagery may be unpalatable to some and courageous to others.
As with “The War of the Worlds”, “1984”, “Animal Farm” and “Fahrenheit 451” (to name a few of the most visible books of this nature), those most in need of the reflection this novel should inspire, will be the quickest to denounce both the novel and its creator, presuming to know him through a story he has told. But fiction novelists and fiction movie-makers are free (today and hopefully always) to imagine "what-ifs" and develop powerful themes, even if apocalyptic or dystopian, and readers and movie-goers are still free to read and view, and to examine their own minds, societies and consciences.
If your interpretation of this book leaves you thinking it is no more than a simple diatribe steeped in racism, you are probably kin to Clement Dio.
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