By Don DeLillo
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781501135392, May 2016, 288pp.
The Short of It:
Death is inevitable but some choose sooner, rather than later.
The Rest of It:
This is the second book I’ve read this year about cryogenics. I’m not sure why my attention flits over to that subject every now and then but when it does, I find myself fascinated by the topic and this book was no exception.
Jeffrey finds himself supporting his stepmother’s decision to be cryogenically preserved. You see, Artis is dying anyway, but she’s chosen to give her body to science and unfortunately for Jeffrey, Jeffrey’s father has decided to join her in death.
This story explores the idea that there is a purity in death that cannot be achieved in life. For me, the purity aspect is further supported by the clinical nature of the procedure itself. There is a starkness to it, a coldness if you will. Everything is sterile and clinical and without fanfare. The body stripped of clothes is just a body. No longer father or mother but just skin and bones and a glimmer of what used to be.
This book reminded me a lot of Never Let Me Go. I felt somewhat detached while reading it but it’s not nearly as depressing or dark. This has a much more positive feel to it, although you have a dig to find the positivity within it.
Some of the writing really made me think about civilization as it stands now. How do the events of the past shape the future? How can the decisions we make as a society today, impact us later in life?
Overall, this was a good, interesting read but it’s a little deep and I may not have gotten all of the meaning behind it. There were times where I could not tell if something was happening for real or if it was in a dream or some created reality. It’s that kind of book.
Have you read it?
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
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