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January - 'The Sleeper Awakes' - Read Along Discussion

posted Jan 20, 2014 15:47:58 by CouldNeverDoThat
How's everyone finding 'The Sleeper Awakes' so far? Let us know how far into you've gotten and what you think. Loving it? Hating it? Wishing you'd never started? Whatever you're thinking, we want to know! Just be sure to give us *SPOILER ALERTS* in case others haven't gotten quite as far as you.
[Last edited Jan 31, 2014 22:55:35]
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Alice said Jan 20, 2014 16:22:55
I'm a third in.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Graham has just escaped!
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One half of http://couldneverdothat.com | Literature addict at http://ofbooks.org
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CalumCarpenter said Jan 20, 2014 18:31:18
REPOSTED FROM PREVIOUS THREAD

http://comicsbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/spoiler.jpg I wish there was a way to make that my comments avatar, but alas.
So, ‘The Sleeper Awakes’; a book which is not doing a very good job at keeping this sleeper awake.
I’m 24% in (or Chapter VIII for those thumbing paper) and I’m struggling to gain the will to continue. Took me three attempts to get through chapter one. Now granted, the transition from his initial two decades of sleep to his eventual awakening two centuries later was nicely done, but other than that I finding it over wordy, repetitive, over concerned with dull world building (love me some good world building, but this not so much), sexist, racist, and stretched. Already feels like a good short story concept that’s had it’s word count unnecessarily extended. I very quickly tire of any narrative which has the main character CONSTANTLY asking ‘what is going on?’ and not being told anything.
Those who know me will know that I have my problems with classic authors. Mainly a sense that they often need a bloody good edit. I appreciate that writing styles have changed, but in some cases (his and ‘Frankenstein’ particularly) there is so much dense, superfluous information and frankly waffle. So no-one thinks me a heathen, I love ‘Jane Eyre’, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter novels. Ok, so that still makes me sound like a heathen.
Perhaps because I come to Sleeper off the back of another of H.G. Wells works ‘The Island of Doctor Moreau’ which I enjoyed, I’m struggling with this one.
Now I’m waffling and I’m only a quarter of the way through, so to finish, a couple of small points which bugged me;
After Grahame wakes he meets a few men which are described and distinguished by their beards. The first time he sees, not meets women, Wells comments on their breasts.
The police force (one of fourteen we’re told that we would fail to understand) are all ‘negroes’, and the one is singled out he is referred to ask ‘the black’.
I know both of these points can be explained by the period in which the work was written, but it doesn’t stop it being irksome, and as I said in a snooty text to Tania earlier this morning ‘ the acceptance of society does not excuse the actions of the individual’. Plus, it’s disappointing to see that even when Wells was contemplating an enlightened, advanced, futuristic society, ‘the blacks’ were still faceless brutes.
Fuck history.
An errant soul searching for purpose. Whilst reading a lot of comic books.

calumcarpenter.wordpress.com l @CalumCarpenter l www.flockofcondors.com
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