by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is a genius. Is this novel genius? I don’t know that I’d go that far, but it is entertaining, thought-provoking, and darkly funny, so well worth reading.
It’s satire, set in a could-be-all-too-soon future when America’s economy has collapsed (more so than in 2008) and options are even grimmer this go round. If you have a car to live in, you’d be considered luckier than many.
Even so, you might be willing to trade your “freedom” defending your car for the “freedom” of Positron where you have not one but two jobs: one outside prison, and one inside the prison where you spend half your time as an inmate. It makes creepy sense; and of course it is even worse than it sounds. Well, better and worse. Which means it’s ultimately much, much worse.
You’ve got some not entirely likable characters, trapped by circumstances they can’t really control. It reads a bit like a thought experiment: How far are people willing to go to trade liberty for safety and security? Is sex just one more thing to trade? Are there logical limits to greed and power? How do you value relationships or love?
It’s a good, not great novel.