Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jumping Off the Planet by David Gerrold (2000)

I read this 13 year old book when it was fresh off the presses back in 2000 (perhaps 2001), and thought it was great. That's the main reason I re-read it; I remember enjoying it so much.  I'm not sure thought that this book really fits into the "re-readable" category.  I think it kind of ruined it for me.  My memory of the book is  that it was exciting, and sort of new, and had some really cool gay characters, and was told from a teen's point of view, and HEH I was a teen librarian, so it HAD to be good.  My impression this time was that the point of view was bitter and felt sort of old.  The predictions are scary though - overpopulation, hurricanes run amok, the end of the world as we know it, the last days of Rome...  some of what Gerrold wrote a baker's dozen of years ago are frighteningly close to coming true - without our ability to jump off the planet to safety.  It's still a good read, but not quite as good as I thought way back when.

Jumping Off the Planet (Dingilliad, #1)Jumping Off the Planet by David Gerrold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've read this book twice now - finished it a few days ago for the second time.  The first time was in the pre-Goodreads era, and my memories of the book were quite fond.  I remember then thinking it was exciting, had a unique plot, had a great and interesting point of view, and predicted a future which seemed quite plausible.  Thirteen years later, absence has not made the heart grow fonder.  The story and plot are still interesting, but this time I caught some bitter overtones.  It's a book working on two levels - one a science fiction adventure thriller, the other a family drama.  The science fiction aspects were even more frighteningly plausible (and Gerrold is prescient); the end of the world as we know it is happening now.  The family drama, though, that's what I didn't find as interesting this time around.  I kept wondering if the author had some axes to grind, somewhere, and this was a mechanism in which to grind them down to a fine point, particularly about child support and divorce.  The teen point of view mostly still feels authentic though.  If I loved this book 13 years ago, I still like it - but just not as much.

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1 comment:

  1. I wish I could read as fast as you so I could read all these books you recommend. Does it make you sad when a book doesn't hold up to your memory of it?


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