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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Charles Darwin: A New Life
John Bowlby
Progress: 392/527 pages
An Introduction to Magnetohydrodynamics
P.A. DAVIDSON, E.J. Hinch, S.H. Davis, Mark J. Ablowitz
Progress: 27/452 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 359/700 pages
Plasma physics
R.A. Cairns
Progress: 4/244 pages
Selected Short Stories - Conrad (Wordsworth Classics)
Keith Carabine, Joseph Conrad
Progress: 37/272 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 108/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 76/448 pages
Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being
Ted Hughes
Progress: 369/517 pages
Lock in - John Scalzi

Scalzi may as well start writing stage plays, so heavily dialogue dominated has his prose become.


Here we have a bunch of interesting issues related to disability, medicine and modern society, wrapped around by a police procedural murder mystery, which in itself was fun enough.


The issue closest to me was the question of whether we should find a cure for everything? In the book, a bunch of people who are effectively paralysed by an infectious illness have developed a significant on-line community and culture. A cure would effectively destroy this culture, but would reduce the burden on the state of supporting the medical costs associated with the disease. And do the "sufferers" want to be cured?


This may seem far-fetched but in fact is not in the slightest: the deaf community have their own languages and culture and with recent medical advances many more of them are amenable to effective interventions than was the case even twenty years ago. They are having exactly this debate. Closer to home (for me personally), the same applies to the autistic community, where people working to "cure" it are held in great suspicion. Are we all going to be forced to have our personalities radically re-written because it happens to be cheaper? Think about that. Would you want that to happen to you, just because you happen to be inconvenient to the majority?


Well done to Scalzi for raising awareness that such issues exist.


Here's my question left hanging from reading this book, though? Why, exactly was Trinh so pissed off at his ex-partner? We never find out.