Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Book Review: Julian Comstock

Wow, I mean wow.  The Hugo nomination for Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson is well deserved.  This is one of the best examples  of the unreliable narrator that I've ever had the pleasure of reading and I did really enjoy this book.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The narrator in the book is Adam Hazard who is writing a biography of his good friend and former president of America, Julian Comstock.  I say he is an unreliable narrator due to his naiveté about certain facts of life, his love of certain characters keeps him from speaking ill of them and the fact that as he states later in the book some things were changed for dramatic effect.

The book follows Adam and Julian from their early days in a wilderness town to the war against the Dutch and finally to the presidential palace in New York City.  You've probably noticed some inconsistencies in that last sentence a the world that Adam inhabits is some 200 years in our future.

In this future the world has run out of oil without a valid alternative energy source.  Society has degraded quite severely and we are back into a feudal system complete with serfs which is actually more like slavery.  Without ruining anything about the book the potential future that Wilson paints is very plausible given the current state of affairs in the world.

As you can probably tell I'm rating this book a buy.  My next sci-fi book will be another Hugo nominee The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.  That will round out my reviews of this years nominees where others include:

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
The City and the City by China Miéville
Wake by Robert J Sawyer

No comments: