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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels and Stories, Vol. 1: Rocannon's World / Planet of Exile / City of Illusions / The Left Hand of Darkness / The Dispossessed / Stories (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 132/1100 pages
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 200/346 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 3/250 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
Selected Short Stories - Conrad (Wordsworth Classics)
Keith Carabine, Joseph Conrad
Progress: 236/272 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
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages

The Long Habit of Living

The Long Habit Of Living - Joe Haldeman

A techno-conspiracy thriller where Immortaility is medically possible, aside from accident or murder but the procedure must be repeated every ten years or so and you must hand over all your worldly goods to the Foundation that monopolises the procedure in order to get it done - additionally, you must be able to give at least a million every time.

 

The book explores the effect on global (solar-system wide, in fact) economics and social constructs of this radical medical treatment and the limits placed on access to it by the monopolising Foundation, whilst telling an almost immediately gripping tale.

 

Those familiar with Haldeman novels know that he likes to experiment somewhat with his writing techniques. In this case there is alternation between two 1st Person narratives (one male, one female) and brief sections in the third person. It's something that can go badly wrong, mixing of your person number like that - see Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick - or rather, don't, because it's dreadful. Haldeman pulls it off with aplomb, though and we are treated to one of the more readable examinations of the theme of medical longevity, which has been knocking around SF since at least as far back as Blish's Cities in Flight quartet and in recent years has become practically ubiquitous.