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The Embedding Paperback – December, 1989
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Top Customer Reviews
The book contains two alternating sub-plots, both of which eventually mesh later in the narrative. In one sub-plot, Chris Sole, a linguist at a research institute in England, is working with traumatized, semi-catatonic Bangladeshi refugee children (?!) and trying various elaborate social conditioning methods - including a brain-stimulating drug - to get them to communicate.
In the other sub-plot, a French anthropologist named Pierre is living with a tribe of Amazonian Indians called the Xemahoa. The Xemahoa possess two languages, one being a `conventional' method of spoken communication. The other Xemahoa language is an ill-defined, esoteric form of semi-telepathic communication that involves taking hallucinogenic drugs, which in turn triggers an all-encompassing Awareness of the True Nature of the World.
When an alien spaceship is discovered en route to Earth, both of these plots begin to converge, as the communication becomes the all-important key to managing First Contact.
`The Embedding' was a struggle to get through.
Author Watson was intent on using various linguistic theories, that were hip and trendy in the early 70s, as the underpinning of his novel. Many passages are over-written efforts to introduce concepts of a Universal Consciousness through Communication, and these paradigms are too half-baked, and too tepid, to drive the narrative.
The reader must confront clunky, even amateurish exchanges of dialogue, such as this interaction with one of the aliens:
"Not so," howled Ph'theri , raising both arms and tick-tacking his thumbs in the utmost anger or agitation. "We Sp'thra are not sick. We are aware. Change Speakers exist - in another reality plane !Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is an excellent read. Anyone interested in Philosophy, linguistics, applied linguistics and how language shapes our minds and our world will love this book.Published on June 6, 2013 by kathryn Lewis
There are tons of great ideas expresed in this book, must of them have to do with the way that the languaje can twist reality and how everithing we perceive is perceived thru the... Read morePublished on August 22, 2003 by ganarce
This book tells three stories about: an experiment involving children, to find out if they can develop their own language with the aid of computer altered English; a secluded... Read morePublished on October 16, 1999