Dec 5, 2007

Elvissey by Jack Womack


Any time you set a book in the possible future, you have to deal with how you feel language would change between now and then, based on the way everything's turned. A bad writer will come up with unreadable dialogue that bogs down the plot and adds nothing to our understanding of the culture. Womack, on the other hand, twists English just enough. His people speak an English that makes perfect sense in their corporate-ruled experience, an almost lyrical cousin of newspeak in ways.

You know, a future as a survivor of the planet after war or disease, as long as the world's isn't poisoned, is one I can see as hopeful and worth living. But a future as just another cog, as a commodity used up and tossed out by big business, just sounds like Hell. Corporations do not care about you. In fact, that's the whole point - build up enough layers of management and red tape, and no one person has to take the blame for the death and misery they (we) collectively cause.

As to the Elvis-as-Messiah trope, stranger things have happened.

final thought: This won't be the last Womack novel I read.

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