Saturday, June 13, 2009

Genesis, A Novel by Bernard Beckett (finished)

I just finished Genesis, A Novel by Bernard Beckett.

The novel is short, about 150 pages; I would have called it a novella.

Genesis is about a female taking a four hour exam for entrance into the Academy.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you much about the book without stealing the author's thunder.

The question is why should 'constant reader' (that's you) read this?  I liked the writing style.  Beckett was able to communicate a lot of exposition through the interview style without having to transition; a lot of the book was written like a play.  The scenes from the past are written in normal prose and I did find those scenes engaging.

There is a surprise ending.  I normally hate surprise endings because I think surprise ending destroy the symmetry of novels but I liked the ending to this book (again, I can't tell you more than that).

There were some things about the book that I found irritating (such as the names of each of the characters are names of philosophers or people from antiquity (I didn't like this because it seemed like Beckett was being overtly philosophic which gave me the impression of pedantry); and he unfortunately choses three main character names to start with the same letter which to a reader is a little confusing (Anax, Adam and Art)).  But these are minor things that don't really detract from the enjoyment of the book itself.

Overall, I enjoyed this little novel (novella).  I would recommend it.  I think that Beckett wanted to tell a story about a believable future, teach a moral lesson and ask a few good question; And for the most part, I think he accomplished these things.  Good times.

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