A what-if based on genetic engineering

Book: The Windup Girl

Author: Paolo Bacigalupi

Recommend: It was alright but not he best thing I’ve ever read- but definite social commentary…

Okay, I picked this one up almost a year ago, long before I got my nook but felt the need to read it this week. It was sitting on my shelf all lonely and unread- a very sad sight to see. I just finished the Cassandra Clare series and wanted something that I could get through in a few hours instead of a few days. So I sat down last night and got started.

This book tells the story of a man named Anderson who works for a calorie company. Calories have become one of the most important things in a world where disease has killed almost all the natural crops. The generippers attempt to stay ahead of the deadly blood rust and other horrible diseases by designing new versions of food that are sterile, guaranteeing themselves a monopoly on the world’s food supply. The world suffers from famine and no one worries about the taste of food as much as getting enough calories to survive. In the middle of this, the generippers have gone far beyond creating new foodstuffs and have created new animals and even people like Emiko- a windup girl.

This was an interesting read. It appealed to my intellectual side in a way that most books don’t. I found the idea interesting as many of the fruits and vegetables that we currently eat are genetically alters (like Cuties oranges- designed for kids). Then on one of the less standard news services that I follow, there is constant talk about the importance of having seed banks as a reserve for famine that they are sure is around the corner. I found this book interesting simply because it poses a what-if scenario playing to those fears. I didn’t like the fact that the author seemed to ignore the validity of the argument made by the Grahamites in his book even though there is logic to it.

I found the book to be an interesting read but I will say that there is some very rough stuff in this book. Emiko works as a sort of slave in a sex club and while the scenes are not overly graphic, they do NOT fade to black in the slightest. Also there is quite a bit of gruesome description of death and mutilation in the book. While I think that it was necessary for the story, it is not the easiest thing to read. It definitely made certain sections of the book a bit harder to get through. I found myself putting it down a few times, just to get a break from it.

This book is definitely worth looking into if you enjoy science fiction that takes a more serious approach. This is not a lighthearted fluff piece but is a worthwhile read.

Final Rating:

Get it used...


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Filed under mature themes and subject matter, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

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