A Song Called Youth Paperback – April 10, 2012
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- Publisher : Prime Books (April 10, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 768 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1607013304
- ISBN-13 : 978-1607013303
- Item Weight : 2.05 pounds
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,830,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This version has some updated concepts.
John Shirley is a fantastic author and musician. He's written music for Blue Oyster Cult (several songs) as well as other cyberpunk, sci-fi and horror books. He's a very prolific writer that writes stories that start relevant and stay that way.
A Song Called Youth is set in the near future, but has its roots in the politics of now. No, it may not necessarily change your life, but it will feed your grey matter. And after all, isn't that what a good read is supposed to do?
Btw, does this page have 10 stars?
Don't get too attached to some of the characters. Shirley has a very subtle way of introducing you to a character, giving you enough detail to interest you in how that will develop over the course of the story, and then that character is killed off. Not to the scale of George R.R. Martin or Iain M. Banks (both of which I love and enjoy), but it was a bit unexpected. I think what Shirley realistically shows is the effect of the horrors of war and its wholesale devaluation of human life on the protagonists over time, especially as we see friends, lovers, and comrades in arms suddenly taken away in the blink of a bullet or bomb. I was reminded of how the HBO series, "Band of Brothers" presented the same theme of "Don't get to know the new guys in the squad because they probably won't be around tomorrow."
There are other interesting explorations on themes that have relevance today such as corporate power and the rise of rightwing nationalism which we are seeing play out these days in America and Europe.
All in all, I highly recommend the Trilogy. My only suggestion, which goes to all of our current authors and their publishers, is to just tell your story, regardless of length. Stop all of this Trilogy and beyond crap just to sell more books. Just tell your tale, end it happy ending or ambiguous, but just end it, and put it into ONE book. I'll pay the same price. And don't just keep expanding the universe of the story without purpose. Shirley and Banks know how to do this. Martin .... I'm not so sure but am hopeful!!!
AND it’s proved to be prophetic as hell. Written more than 15 years ago, Shirley really had his finger on the pulse of the trajectory our current geopolitics could take/are taking. Can’t recommend this one highly enough. If Hollywood doesn’t pick this one up (or subscription TV — a 6-to-8-hour miniseries, like The Man in High Castle would do it better justice), they’re missing out on a blockbuster.