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am 21. Juli 1999
I originally was given this book to read for a college course called "Utopia/Dystopia" and I must say I was skeptical when I started, but a fan by the time I finished. Everyone seems to refer to this work as a "Feminist" book, but I find it more Humanist than anything else. Both futures presented here are a little two dimensional, the Utopia is all squeaky clean and bright while the Dystopia is plastic evil through and through, but it's the ideas and the characters which make this novel shine. The concepts presented are very attractive and (in my opinion) very advanced for the period in which this was written (1976! Doesn't show a bit.). I'm a big fan of HG Wells and David Gerrold, and this novel fits in nicely with the former's Utopian visions and the laters complex character development.
Piercy's mid 70's world is spot on; dirty, brown, and paranoid. Her treatment of the insane is both sensitive and compelling, it's hard to think of a more desperate character than poor Connie. And the ending is sweet (ohhhh so sweet!) and pleasantly vague at the same time.
I'm a guy. I like guy things. But I'm also very fond of this book (I'd put it in my top ten) and the views of social equality it presents. This book will age nicely, I can see it as a classic in another few decades. Our society is on the cusp of the genetic revolution, who's side are you on?
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am 31. Mai 2000
I am delighted to have stumbled upon a feminist novelist who can portray a woman's view without resorting to continual male-bashing. Her skill with English is a wonderful breath of air in a time when writers are churning out a semi-lierate cloud.
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am 17. Januar 2000
I was saddened to read negative reviews of this wonderful novel. Especially as most the negative reviews were based on how "feminist" this book is. If you consider feminism females being superior to males then no, you won't like this book. However if you feel that people should be judged on their abilities and achievements and that equality for all is a goal this is a book for you. Connie a poor woman in the 1970's is our hero. Able to recieve a sort of psychic impression of the future she travels back and forth seeing how events in her time affect the future. Labeled insane and put away in an asylum she reaches to the future to keep hold of her sanity. This book is a testament to how society's labels can steer your life's course.
Also found in this book are examples of possible futures, one to strive for and one to fear. The "utopian" future is especially wonderful to me for it shows a society that is not perfect but strives to overcome its imperfections, a world dealing with its problems not a world without problems. If you enjoy time travel and social issues in science fiction you may very well enjoy this book.
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am 27. Mai 1998
I was assigned this book for a class 7 years ago. Didn't read it until 5 years ago, have since reread it frequently and have purchased copies for every single one of my nearest and dearest. Piercy's worlds are both foreseeable realities: do we succumb to the apathy that technology affords us and become its tools or do we use it as but one of our tools and take a proactive approach to making this world a better place to be. Critics may claim that this text is "anti-male" out of a pure allegiance to a patriarchal culture. We have become accustomed to this system which is quickly killing both our environment and our individuality. To suggest that men can be equal to women and vice versa is most definitely not anti-male. It is pro-human. Piercy taps the rage that most people internalize, especially women who live in a society which still subjugates them, makes them live in fear, and comes out with the best conclusion: one person can make a difference.
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am 23. Mai 1999
I forgot my dreams and Marge Piercy put them in a book. How wonderful to read about a place with compassion; one that nurtures a person's talents, a community that actively diffuses anger between members, where all people have clean air, water, food. Just imagine a place where no one dies of hunger. No racism, sexism, ageism, classism! Then juxtapose it with a minority woman of impending middle-age, low income, low education, imprisoned in a mental institution. An amazing book, pointing out the ills of our society and the possiblities inherent in human beings on this earth.
A refresher course in all the good that compassion can do. Started reading the Dalai Lama's book "The Art of Happiness" and found amazing parallels.
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am 28. August 1998
My interest in time travel dates back to earliest childhood, but this entry into the genre was first published at a time when science fiction was nowhere to be found in movies or television, and the written word was for the last time its primary home. "Woman" is in the category of works with Vonnegut, where the novel is not composed with the intentions of satisfying fans of a genre, but to address every person to come across it. This is its unparalleled strength. The universal theme of sacrifice and lonely courage against tyrannies make this novel one of the great, if often overlooked, masterpieces of the 1970s.
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am 26. Oktober 1996
This novel is a feminist classic; it could have been written
yesterday instead of twenty years ago. Rather than merely
complaining about sexism and patriarchy, Piercy envisions an
entirely new societal structure, giving us a worthy future to
strive for. Not only feminist, this novel embraces a
humanistic ideal, where the individual can attain his or her
("per," as Piercy would have it) full potential. Best of
all, Piercy's characters are fully drawn, riveting in their
complexity. These are people you long to know in a world
you long to visit. This is the book you long to read.
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am 17. Mai 2000
Read this for the same "Utopia/Dystopia" class - and was captivated. After having picked through a half dozen other books - I'm amazed at how Marge Piercy is able to write cover so many genres - from historical fiction to contemporary fiction to science fiction.
I can say she's become one of my all time favorite writers - and personally most influential.
This - probably one of her best works (also read, Gone to Soldiers). I don't want to give away too much of the story line - as it might spoil some of the fun of exploring the unique and creative storyline.
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am 23. August 1998
I absolutely love Marge Piercy's writing - both her poetry and her novels, but this one didn't do it for me. I liked the feminist utopian vision. On the other hand, it was very easy to put this book down for a couple of days (or weeks). In addition, some of the future-lingo was irritating at times. For a great futuristic novel, I'd strongly recommend HE, SHE AND IT.
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am 29. August 1997
This book is THE BEST BOOK EVER! It is a book that two people could read and think to completly different things. It also is an awakaning to our envirmental and social problems. This book gives two very real futures for this world, one horific and the other wonderful. I truly think that EVERYONE should read this book as it is enlightening and very interesting
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