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The Glass Bees (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – September 30, 2000
The Valley (The Valley Trilogy)
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Original Language: German
Top Customer Reviews
As stated, very little actually happens. Actually, the "action" herein is probably a mere tenth or so of the length, but don't be fooled - Junger will string you along for a few pages, and then hit you with a philosophical passage that begs reading and re-reading. This is a science fiction novel by technical definition, although there is little actual emphasis on the technology; it is presented more as an allegory for the modern age.
The plot is very simple. Captain Richard, an aging war veteran, is given a job interview by the "great Zapparoni" (who is sort of mixture between Walt Disney and Rupert Murdoch). Richard, despite having no short amount of noblisse oblige (nurtured in an earlier, more noble era) nevertheless has cultivated an identity based on failure, largely resulting from being out of step with the current age. He is a man caught between two worlds - he cannot bear to destroy himself even in lieu of the pointlessness of modern existence, yet is unwilling to sacrifice himself to the new technological gods, who demand little more than technical efficiency and blind obedience at the expense of human perfection.
When I was reading this novel, I was reminded of Spengler's introduction to _The Decline of the West_, in which he differentiated between "men of action" and "men of contemplation". Men of action, Spengler said, are the logical result of the particular era they live in (sadly, the figures of Bill Clinton and George W.Read more ›
For reasons unknown to me, I am attracted to any book with the word bees or honey in the title, but the fact that the protagonist Captain Richard was a German veteran also caught my interest. I had read many books, articles, etc. by and about U.S. soldiers and veterans, but had not read anything by or about German veterans and I wanted to know more. Also, at the time I discovered THE GLASS BEES the newspapers were filled with articles about unemployed Vietnam veterans, so the fact that Captian Richard was also unemployed further intrigued me.
Now I don't like science fiction, but, by the time I realized THE GLASS BEES was science fiction (at least it was when the book was written), I found myself hooked on a book I would never have gone out of my way to read, about things I did not want to know. I am a gardener, and I love nature, but this book presents a terrifying look into a world anyone who loves nature will abhor.
THE GLASS BEES is about the war technological forces are waging against nature. Have you read THE MACHINE IN THE GARDEN by Leo Marx? This is the next step. Forget the locomotive engine crashing through the underbrush, the technology in this book makes the locomotive engine look positively benign.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had to read this book for school. Actually really good!Published 11 months ago by Danielle Sullivan
An unusual premise for unusual thoughts. It certainly changed my perception of the phrase "in vain".Published 13 months ago by HJ-Marseilles
I saw some people praising this book on the internet somewhere so I decided it would be worth a read.
I had forgotten how much I love German authors. Read more
Interesting read. I picked it up after reading storm of steel but obviously this is a completely different book. Storm of steel is a one off that cannot be copied or repeated. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Quinner
A former soldier, Captain Richard, must give up the old ways of morals and manhood, to accept the ways of the New World; one in which will lead him into the very bowels of... Read morePublished on March 10, 2014 by Watson
Ernst Jünger's novel is a mix of '1984' by George Orwell and `Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley. Read morePublished on June 27, 2013 by Luc REYNAERT
This review contains plot spoilers.
Ernst Junger is best-known for his "In Stahlgewittern" ("Storm of Steel"), a literary account of the time he spent serving in World... Read more
Captain Richard, black listed by the armed services, is desperate for a job and approaches an influential ex cavalry comrade,Twinning's, to intercede. Read morePublished on October 19, 2011 by An admirer of Saul
I gather when this novel came out, it was widely dismissed as irrelevant. It was probably out of sync with the contemporary German political sensibility with political parties that... Read morePublished on September 21, 2010 by JAK