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Dignity by [Layne, Ken]
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Dignity Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 165 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dignity is an epistolary novel, as if it were Paul writing the Galatians. Layne takes on our separation from the land via our vampiric computer screens. A book that starts out cynical and frightening ends with hope." -FourStory

"In Ken Layne's new novel Dignity, abandoned housing developments and forlorn desert strip malls become a creche for a new society ... as refugees from the failing American economic system try to remake their lives. Highly recommended." -KCET Los Angeles

"The release of Layne's new novel, Dignity, seems to codify his ideas--the mystical power of the deserts of the American West and a populist fatalism--perfectly." -The Rumpus

About the Author

Ken Layne is the author of the novel "Dot-Con" and the upcoming "The Left Coast," his account of walking the California coastline from the Mexican border to San Francisco during the Great Recession. He lives in the Mojave Desert.

Product Details

  • File Size: 396 KB
  • Print Length: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Elora Peak Press; 1 edition (May 7, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZZTDXQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,174,416 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although Dignity is easily read in an afternoon, I suspect it will remain a part of my consciousness much in the same way The Whole Earth Catalog has since 1968. One might say these fictional characters are kinder, gentler Luddites; and to a certain extent this is true, but it should be understood that the Luddites of 19th century England did not revolt against progress in general, but against the economic and social harm of automated looms that resulted in the loss of jobs for many skilled textile workers.

Rather than burn the mills and factories as did the followers of Ned Lud, the mysterious "B." and his disciples withdraw from the rat race, move off the grid, and forsake the Internet (including Wonkette) as modern society collapses around them following the housing crash. This movement to a communal, agrarian lifestyle poses the same threat to the powers that be however, and the hell hounds of capitalism are set on the peaceful communities.

The storytelling mechanism, a series of letters written over several years and delivered to the clandestine communities by courier to avoid detection, sometimes lacks continuity, but allows the reader to avoid too much character development, emphasizing that the movement is the main character.

Highly recommended!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Over the years, Ken Layne's become one of my favorite authors (I would say bloggers, but I'm guessing I would be asked to leave the community). His sarcasm and acerbic wit have provided any number of laugh-out-loud moments. I still remember my favorite phrase that he ever wrote, which was, "...because it sort of sounds like these are terrible times for the Consumer -- who, by executive order, officially replaced the U.S. Citizen back in 1983."

While I love his current events-related writing, this work is nothing like any of that. Yet, still, it's excellent. Sure, you can detect commonalities between his half-decade of posting and Dignity. For example, even though he manages not to use the phrase "Anusburger" there's an obvious undercurrent of disdain for factory farming and such practices. But even those Layne-esque (you heard it here first) sentiments are just part of a larger narrative that is positive and interesting and hopeful - not to mention compelling. The novel's format itself works well for the effect he's trying to achieve and it ends up being quite a page turner. I grabbed it on a Kindle App this morning (my first ever eBook) and didn't put it down until just now. I don't want to go into detail about the world he creates, but it's fair to say that there's a lot more that could be written on the topic. It's not an entirely original concept, but his execution manages to avoid the usual post-apocalyptic cliches and focus on a more uplifting tone. Only at one point does a midget riding a giant march into the novel and take control of a community, for example.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An unusual and welcome take on a version of "post-apocalyptic" America. Wonderful to read and beautifully told. I haven't finished it yet, but felt compelled to comment as I get more and more into it. I will update when Im done :)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
but I did enjoy this story very much. I definitely recommend it to anyone who has an hour of time to read something on their electronic device.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ken Layne has long been one of my favorite political/social essayists and even if I've been disinclined to read anything on Kindle, I made the exception with his novel, "Dignity", because it isn't yet available in print and I was interested to see if he's as interesting a novelist as he is a pundit. "Dignity" does not disappoint. I found it difficult to put down (even on Kindle).

I want to share this book with several people (none of whom own kindles) and am looking forward to getting several copies for this purpose as soon as it is made available.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Poignant, provoking of thought. The distance of experiencing this possible future via letters does rob it of emotional connection. Still, I respect the intent of putting the reader in the midst of this series of missives between people trying to connect when the status quo has collapsed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never been a big fan of epistolary novels. However, I was drawn into this one immediately. It's not so much a story as it is a meditation on our modern lives. It was my bedtime reading this past week, which was a wonderful time to read it, as it had a very calming, relaxing effect on me, by which I mean it kind of "re-set" me; helped me to appreciate what I have in my life, and inspired me to live a life more in touch with nature and other people. I see myself returning to it again and again when I need some philosophical inspiration. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely perfectly gorgeous, and much less cynical than I'd expect from Ken Layne. He limns a movement for the future, or for now.
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