Wednesday, October 7, 2015

151. Erewhon

Erewhon
Samuel Butler
1872
Around 250 pages












I was not looking forward to this book in the slightest.  The description makes it sound like a rather dull reimagining of Gulliver's Travels and we all know how I feel about Jonathan Swift.  And by "all" I mean my mother.

Our narrator stumbles upon Erewhon, a nation with rather backward principles.  They try people in court for contracting illnesses and believe machines to be evil.  Of course, our narrator comes across a hot native and decides to escape with her.  The author is more concerned about describing the Erewhon nation (and thereby criticizing Victorian society) than laying out much of a plot.

Obviously by now, the idea of finding beauty in a society that initially seems stunted is a bit of a cliche. I didn't exactly hate it, but I didn't find the country of Erewhon to be nearly as interesting as the narrator wanted me to.  I always want a good story, not merely observations.  The love story seemed like it was thrown together to give this book some semblance of a plot, but I wasn't buying it.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Praised by George Orwell.

Was published anonymously and sold extremely well.  It was generally believed that the author was a famous person, like Lord Lytton.

UP NEXT: The Devils by Fyodor Dostoevsky.  This is the last Dostoevsky novel on the List and he is going out with a 800 page bang.

1 comment:

  1. As usual, excellent review and very entertaining. I always enjoy the extra interesting facts!

    ReplyDelete