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Erewhon (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – May 29, 2002
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About the Author
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), a British writer strongly influenced by his New Zealand experiences, is best known for his utopian satire Erewhon and his posthumous novel The Way of All Flesh. Butler was born in Langar Rectory, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, England, into a long line of clerics. Butler, who was a detractor from widely-accepted religious, social, and scientific ideas, achieved fame posthumously in 1902 and has ever since been recognized as a momentous Victorian writer. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The reason people remember Butler is the warning about machines supplanting man, chap. 23-25, and the general ban on their development. This seems less fictional today, given recent pronouncements on AI weapons. “Make no machine in the likeness of a human mind,” is the prohibition in Frank Herbert’s Dune, attributed to an anti-AI rebellion called the Butlerian Jihad.
Superhuman machines are now hugely popular in science fiction. I would not recommend Erewhon, except for its historical value. Plus, it’s short.
Given that increased understanding of addiction is beginning to see certain crimes as caused by illness, this is a somewhat prophetic book, and for all of us modern readers and writers preoccupied with dystopia, this dusty classic is current again.