Running a bit behind the regular posting schedule but living life takes precedence and this past week, there was really no energy I wanted to expend on writing. I’ve started using Headspace, a meditation app that you can download on your phone, and I have to give it a full thumbs-up of approval. I love the reminders that the app sends for mental awareness, the broad selection in their library, and the funky happy videos. Its cheery and bright and an excellent way to maintain emotional health.
But to the point, I’ve finished reading “Early Riser” by Jasper Fforde. As a birthday present, I received a subscription to six months from Book of the Month, a service that presents five options and the subscriber picks one of that five. I chose “Early Riser” because it is very much out-of-the-norm for me to read dystopian themed novels but mostly, it was the premise of a society that hibernates during winters 40 degrees Fahrenheit below that peaked my interest.
Where to start? Well, for one, Fforde simply drops you into the world without much ado and that in itself was a little unsettling and bizarre. Living quarters are described in great detail, basic terms are reinvented in this world (i.e. “thumped” for “execute”), and characters are brought in with seemingly no reason and then actively play a new role shortly later. “Early Riser” is a highly imaginative book and I loved how the author was able to create a backdrop that was menacing, peculiar, and familiar to our current life. Most significantly, in this novel, he challenges social expectations and does so in a manner so deftly that a single word throws current perceptions off completely.
In all, it’s a fun, light read. While the world is really something unique and bizarre, the characters fail to inspire a connection. They exist in the book so briefly that it’s difficult to feel much for them when they suddenly disappear. I can’t decide whether this was a purposeful decision by Fforde or whether his interest wasn’t in the characters at all but the winter horrors he created to terrorize them. So do give it a try if you are looking for something to while away the hours but give it a pass if you are looking for something with depth.
You can purchase a copy on Amazon or borrow from your local lending library.
All opinions are my own and are not endorsed by any external party.