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Division Paperback – March 17, 2014
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
"[A] unique and complex topic . . . The book is well written and very well thought out . . . . It will appeal to young and old readers alike. Science fiction, fantasy, young adult, future or realistic; whatever you want to call it, Division by Karen Wyle is good reading for all. - Readers' Favorite
About the Author
Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence. After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles. There she met her husband, who hates L.A. They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.
Wyle has been a voracious and compulsive reader as long as she can remember. She majored in English and American Literature major at Stanford University, which suited her, although she has in recent years developed some doubts about whether studying literature is, for most people, a good preparation for enjoying it. She has been reading science fiction for several decades, but also gobbles up character-driven mysteries and historical fiction, with the occasional foray into anything from chick lit to military history.
Wyle's authorial "voice" is thus the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of practicing appellate law. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.
Wyle and her husband have two essentially-grown and wildly creative daughters, as well as a sweet but neurotic dog.
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Top Customer Reviews
It charts the lives of twins, those joined at birth, two with very different personalities - one who wants a chance of separation, one who'd rather not.
This well written story delves into the very real feelings of how each of the twins value their lives, both with differing opinions about their future existence. Both have convincing arguments and we see the difficulties of the decisions made and the effects.
It is full of emotion and bravery and even sacrifice to some degree...I cannot say more because I don't give spoilers.
A worthwhile read and something to make you think.
Johnny and Gordon have a unique problem. Nobody sees them as individuals. They've been together all their lives but as they grew, their personalities drifted further and further apart and now it's time they went their separate ways, but due to circumstances beyond their control and a startling family secret-- they can't.
Johnny is restless; he wants to get out on his own. He's sick of having his brother in his face all the time, and has always been the more emotional and impulsive of the two. He wants to take action and stop talking about it.
Gordon's delighted with the current arrangement. All these years he's had Johnny around to help him. They finished one another's sentences. They always did homework together, played sports together, had the same friends and went, together, through the adversity of the folks who stared and pointed and thought they were weird. They had triumphed over all that adversity. Why change anything?
Now the technology is available to give each his own individual life. Johnny wants this desperately. Gordon doesn't see the point. Brothers can feud, but this is orders of magnitude worse. They must go to court, each defending his right to live as he chooses. Johnny's freedom could quite literally threaten Gordon's life. Gordon's preferred life is slavery by Johnny's standards. Is it even possible to find a fair solution?
This is one of the most thought provoking books I've read. The author puts us not only in the presence of the twins, but into their thought processes and emotional states. She tackles, aside from the issue of technology bringing us places we may not want to go, showing, in clear example, the conflicts that arise when two individuals' separate rights have to be sorted out. Does Johnny have the right to endanger his brother to get what he wants? Should Gordon have to completely restructure his life and sacrifice all he holds dear (and possibly his life) because Johnny wants a different path? Are we our brothers' keeper, or do we owe ourselves freedom?
This is adult material, difficult both from the standpoint of erotica (in the context of the story, not gratuitous, we are after all talking about teenage boys), but also from the standpoint of traditional value systems. It is a frank discussion of what it means to be an individual, of what happens when rights conflict and there seem to be no viable answers. We see the public get wrapped in the conflict, both sides angry and vindictive, and wonder how it can ever be resolved. It challenges our view of both freedom and justice, while letting us share in the lives of some very memorable characters. I highly recommend it.
The brothers do their best to lead a normal life, and their childhood is a happy one. But when Johnny learns about a cloning procedure that would allow him to live separately from his brother, the boys must face the limits of choice...and a possible no-win scenario.
Part sci-fi and part courtroom drama, Division's greatest strength is its emphasis on the relationships among family and friends over the details of the technology -- although Wyle provides enough information to make the story convincing and plausible, and I think she did a great job.
The action starts slowly, as Wyle details the boys' daily lives, imagining their unique challenges as they grow into manhood. I understand Wyle's need to set up the story, but it takes a bit too long, in my opinion, to get going. However, Division picks up steam when the brothers' conflict builds. One can only imagine their torment as they fight, with no opportunity to leave each other to process anger or frustration.
Division has mature themes and is suited to adults. Wyle explores the many possible challenges of conjoined twins, including budding sexuality, with detailed frankness.
As I read the book, I became more and more invested with the characters. Gordon and Johnny will stay with me for some time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Division" is one of the best books I read in 2013, a year in which I read...Read more
The author, Karen A. Wyle has definitely taken on a controversial topic with this book.Read more
Disclosure: I was given my copy of this book by the author as a review copy.Read more
Another thought-provoking, ethically-challenging and very enjoyable story from...Read more