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|Length: 97 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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This novella is also a quiet story. No gunfights, no graphic sex (the main character does have sex, but Block modestly glosses over it), no thefts, not even a bar-fight. And that makes the slow boil even more effective. Because of how intimate and quiet and nice most of the story is, because of how "in Bill's head" we get, the ending hits even harder. I saw what was coming, hoped to hell I was wrong, and walked away feelling it was both inexorable and inevitable.
It is a testament to Block’s craft, superb characterization, and thrifty dialog that he maintains building tension in a tale with no violence or action. Block teases out the dark and terrifying backstory slowly until the surprising conclusion.
I could easily give five stars, but my one complaint is that it felt derivative of Donald Westlake’s novel Memory. The whole time I was reading I kept thinking how similar the characters and situations seemed, and that detracted from my experience.