- File Size: 1036 KB
- Print Length: 621 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: January 1, 2009
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002VWLLYO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,569 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Revise the World Kindle Edition
|Length: 621 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
Oates is a proper Edwardian gentleman possessed of all the attitudes and prejudices of that time. His love-interest is a mixed-race female doctor--a trifecta of insults to his bigotry. This book provides an excellent depiction of prejudice without hate. He doesn't hate women, he merely thinks them inferior--at first.
C.S. Lewis wrote an essay, "Men Without Chests" where he said that lacking proper affections--loving the good and hating the evil--society would produce "men without chests." You may or may not agree with Lewis, but one thing is for certain, Oates is a man with a chest.
Oates is a hero and he demonstrates this repeatedly in the novel. His heroism is seen in his refusal to give up on understanding future society and how to productively contribute to it. And he knows how to keep his head in a plane crash. Or in the hostile environment of an alien planet.
I first read this work in short-story form entitled, "May Be Some Time," when it appeared in Analog magazine. It was nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards. I was most pleased when I learned last week that she'd expanded it into a novel.
What made me love this work most was Ms. Clough's use of language. Her hero's prose is delightfully littered with words no longer in common circulation. I read on my Kindle where I need only highlight the word to get a definition...most of the time. In the story, most of his utterances send his interlocutors to their laptop computers to look up his barrack's slang.
If you've not already jumped away to order the book on my recommendation, let me try to enumerate some of the features that composed my positive feelings. First and foremost was the writing. Well, no, first and foremost was the story. No, not the story, but the story's protagonist, Captain Oakes. Aw, gee, why does one factor have to be first and foremost. They're all first and foremost.
The writing is as crystal clear and sharp and gorgeous as the Antarctic ice, where the novel begins. Begins with the protagonist dying, which happens to be one of many astonishing risks taken by Ms. Clough (rhymes with "tough," and rightly so). She risks him walking out into the Antarctic blizzard to die for his companion on page one. Then, she risks bringing him back to life in New York City, 130 years later, on page 3. And from then on until the end, she risks showing us how Captain Oakes feels about returning to life after death.
Less than a year ago, I returned to life after death. My cancer doctors wrote me off with no more than two months to live, and I accepted their prognosis-two week to two months. Like the Captain, I wrote myself off for dead. In addition to all the other pleasures I found in Revise the World, there was the uncanny experience of seeing my own thoughts and feelings on the printed page.
I suspect that not many people have experienced returning to life, yet Ms. Clough knows precisely what it feels like. Has she experienced death herself? If not, I'd have to attribute her perspicacity to her research, which is in clear evidence throughout the entire novel. Reading, I was transported into the deadly Antarctic of 1912; the technologically advanced and morally evolved New York of 2043; Britain at the end of the Victorian era; Wyoming in its covered wagon days; and everywhere and every-when Ms. Clough took me in her story.
She captured the nuances of the "common tongue" that divided two countries and two eras ("charva"). The language of arctic exploration, ("sastrugi"). The subtleties of my own mother tongue ("pernickety" as opposed to "persnickety"). Even if you loved only language, you would adore this book on that basis alone.
But mostly what I loved about Revise the World was brought home to me when I reached the end. I yearned for more, and seeking any scrap, I came upon a page entitled "Publication Information. Partway down that page was the question, "What may I do with this file?" I misread the question as "What may I do with this life?"
I thought it was the subtitle.
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