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Lights Out In The Reptile House (1990)

Lights Out in the Reptile House (1990)

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3.84 of 5 Votes: 4
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0393027848 (ISBN13: 9780393027846)
w. w. norton & company

About book Lights Out In The Reptile House (1990)

"Take for example the prisoner who was sitting here yesterday recording the session. What he intuited some time a go was that there was nothing a man wouldn't do to save himself, and having saved himself, there was nothing he wouldn't do for increasingly tirvial reasons, and that eventually he finds himself doing these things out of duty, out of habit, out of pleasure, or for no reason at all."Following a few books about all too real totalitarianism lately, here's a somewhat fictionalized variation, no less harsh for it. Perhaps a warped dystopian coming-of-age. Jim Shepard is a formidable storyteller, particularly short form, his focus of late, so I wanted to try one of his old novels. Which seem largely unread or forgotten. And this is good, it turns out, Shepard's spare style focused if somewhat unadorned, but very apt when it starts to jumble into scenes of nightmarish confusion (political rallies, interrogations). The minimal prose also a very precise tool for conveying the scenes where this becomes truly, unforeseeably harsh. There's a quote about how evil occurs and is allowed to occur out of thoughtlessness that plunges home very sharply, in particular, especially in context.Interesting also that the marginalized scape-goat people here are nomads, which both defamiliarizes the scenario here somewhat, but also rings all too true: see the Romani, see the Tauregs fighting for recognition right now. The latter represented largely in my head right now by Group Inerane, which may be somewhat accurate to the desert nation context of the story:(This is also my recommendation to check them out.)

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