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Mania: A Novel Tekijä: Lionel Shriver
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Mania: A Novel (vuoden 2024 painos)

Tekijä: Lionel Shriver (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
355707,009 (3.72)1
"In an alternative 2011, the Mental Parity movement takes hold. Americans now embrace the sacred, universal truth that there is no such thing as variable human intelligence. Because everyone is equally smart, discrimination against purportedly dumb people is 'the last great civil rights fight.' Tests, grades, and employment qualifications are all discarded. Children are expelled for saying the S-word ("stupid") and encouraged to report parents who use it at home. A college English instructor, the constitutionally rebellious Pearson Converse rejected her restrictive Jehovah's Witness upbringing as a teenager, and so has an aversion to dogma of any kind. Made impotent in the university classroom, she's also enraged by the crushing of her exceptionally bright children's spirit in primary school. Fortunately, she enjoys the confidence of a best friend, a media commentator with whom she can speak frankly about her socially unacceptable contempt for the MP movement. Or at least she thinks she can . . . until one day the political chasm between the two women becomes uncrossable, and a lifelong relationship implodes."--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:nivramkoorb
Teoksen nimi:Mania: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Lionel Shriver (Tekijä)
Info:Harper (2024), 288 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
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Mania: A Novel (tekijä: Lionel Shriver)

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näyttää 5/5
DNF

Instead of Idiocracy meet Mediocracy.

Satirical dystopian where there is now “intelligence equality” - ANY language alluding to lessened intelligence - dumb, stupid etc- are considered slurs and will get you cancelled. Everyone passes, there are no grades, no prestige universities and anyone can be a doctor.
But this was ALL conversational discourse and very little world building, plot or character development. Should have been an essay rather than a fictional story.
  spiritedstardust | Jun 1, 2024 |
This book was intense. Similarly to The Mandibles, I found myself thinking that I was living in the world of the story. Overall, this book made me very sad for the characters living in the world of this story. ( )
  knerd.knitter | May 28, 2024 |
I have read most of Lionel Shriver's novels and she is one of my favorite authors. She writes excellent satires and has a great writing style full of wit and many big words. Her latest deals with the ultimate extension of the woke culture or cancel culture. In an alternate future the. mental parity movement has creating a dumbing down with the idea that no one is really smarter than anyone else. Shriver takes this to the ultimate degree where any word that even hints at superiority can cause major damage to ones life. Pearson Converse is the lead character in the novel and she has much trouble dealing with this turn in our society. The book deals with actions and deeds that lead to many interesting, funny, and very disturbing events. The movement when takien to its comical end causes us to rewrite history and vote out Obama because he is too smart. It is a good commentary on our society. Shriver can be controversial but I strongly recommend not only this book but anything she has written in the last 20 years. ( )
  nivramkoorb | May 21, 2024 |
I’ve read all of Lionel Shriver’s novels and, as I always eagerly anticipate publication of her latest, I was delighted to receive an ARC of ‘Mania’ and to discover that it didn’t disappoint! What I admire most about her writing is her willingness to ‘say it as it is’, to be provocative and challenging and to resist mindlessly ‘following the crowd’, the very antithesis to the mindless ‘dumbing-down’ (no apologies from me for this language!) required following the establishment of the Mental Parity movement, an edict which demands that ‘Stupid is banned and smart is cancelled’, and encourages the belief that everyone can do any job they choose to without having to achieve a particular educational level or undergo any sort of training. For anyone daring to challenge the obvious flaws (and dangers!) in this premise the sanctions are extreme, ranging from social ostracism, losing one’s job and even having one’s children removed by the authorities. Everyone is expected to report any miscreants to the authorities so, as even children are expected to ‘shop’ their own parents, there’s nowhere safe to express an alternative view or opinion and, as the story explores, this has a profound impact on how family members interact with one another, as well as how relationships between friends who share differing views are affected as they try not to fall foul of the new ‘rules’.
Although the alternative recent history the author has created in this satirical dystopia may sometimes verge on the hyperbolic, there is far too much which feels disturbingly familiar to be able to dismiss its basic premise as being totally unbelievable. It frequently feels that we’re already living in a world where tolerance of differing points of view, of legitimate debate and criticism is decreasing because people are becoming fearful of being ‘cancelled’ for not being prepared to keep silent when they disagree.
Whilst there is much to feel disturbed and angry about in Lionel Shriver’s acerbic and incisive exploration of the concept of ‘equality’, this is exactly what makes ‘Mania’ such an important book to read and, without venturing into spoiler territory, I appreciated the way in which she explored how once firmly-held beliefs can be influenced by a future shift in public opinion. Although this isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, a comfortable read, I did find that the occasional moments of rather black humour helped to reduce the tension caused by frequent feelings of outrage about the unintended (but entirely predictable) consequences of ill-thought-out ideas. I think its potential to encourage lively discussion and debate (including about the brilliance of the author’s acknowledgments!) makes it an ideal choice for book groups.
Much as I enjoyed this thought-provoking story, because there were times when I thought that it verged a bit too far into polemical territory, I’ve really struggled with my rating so, sadly, its not a 5* one … but it is a solid 4½* one! ( )
  linda.a. | Apr 6, 2024 |
Oh my, this is delicious! Shriver at her outspoken, satirical best! A dystopian alternate timeline novel, from 2011 to 2027, that could be a parable for our times. Astute, perceptive the story demonstrates what can happen when one point of view is taken to its limits by a minority and spirals out of controlled control!
Here, it is intelligence that is for the chopping board!! Mental Parity is the new buzzword, the correct PC term for a whole nation. It basically means that everyone’s brains are equal, there is no such thing as a clever person or a stupid one. Anyone can do any job they fancy. All references to anyone being dumb or stupid together with a whole lexicon of forbidden terms carry sanctions.

The central character is Pearson Converse and what a delightful play on words than name is! I also thought that the character may have much in common with Lionel Shriver herself! Forgive me if I’m wrong! ’d prefer not to give too much away. But Pearson, having been raised by Jehovah’s Witnesses and subject to that extreme dogma, manages to escape it but then finds herself in the middle of a different regime that still threatens her freedom.

Her best friend Emory Ruth is one of those ubiquitous folks who runs with the herd, to fit in maybe, to have an easier life perhaps, in Emory’s case much is to further her career, but will happily change opinion when the tide turns, an archetypal hypocrite.

Pearson Converse is no sheep, but she pays a heavy price for refusing to embrace the Mental Parity ideology.

Shriver is an erudite author, and I got the feeling that much of this book was an eloquent expression of her own disquiet with the world as it is today. It is set in the US so some of the politics may be elusive for readers across the pond but the points being made are not elusive in the least.

It's a tour de force with some humour but much latent anger. Shriver’s vocabulary is to be envied, it’s expansive and intelligent. But the book may be divisive. I imagine some book groups will enjoy some heated discussions!
It is thought provoking too and I hope it is not prophetic.

My thanks to Readers First where I was lucky enough to win a copy in one of their draws. ( )
  shizz | Mar 27, 2024 |
näyttää 5/5
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"In an alternative 2011, the Mental Parity movement takes hold. Americans now embrace the sacred, universal truth that there is no such thing as variable human intelligence. Because everyone is equally smart, discrimination against purportedly dumb people is 'the last great civil rights fight.' Tests, grades, and employment qualifications are all discarded. Children are expelled for saying the S-word ("stupid") and encouraged to report parents who use it at home. A college English instructor, the constitutionally rebellious Pearson Converse rejected her restrictive Jehovah's Witness upbringing as a teenager, and so has an aversion to dogma of any kind. Made impotent in the university classroom, she's also enraged by the crushing of her exceptionally bright children's spirit in primary school. Fortunately, she enjoys the confidence of a best friend, a media commentator with whom she can speak frankly about her socially unacceptable contempt for the MP movement. Or at least she thinks she can . . . until one day the political chasm between the two women becomes uncrossable, and a lifelong relationship implodes."--

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