On Such a Full Sea
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“Watching a talented writer take a risk is one of the pleasures of devoted reading, and On Such a Full Sea provides all that and more. . . . With On Such a Full Sea, [Chang-rae Lee] has found a new way to explore his old preoccupation: the oft-told tale of the desperate, betraying, lonely human heart.”—Andrew Sean Greer, The New York Times Book Review
“I've never been a fan of grand hyperbolic declarations in book reviews, but faced with On Such a Full Sea, I have no choice but to ask: Who is a greater novelist than Chang-rae Lee today?”—Porochista Khakpour, The Los Angeles Times
From the beloved award-winning author of Native Speaker and The Surrendered, a highly provocative, deeply affecting story of one woman’s legendary quest in a shocking, future America.
On Such a Full Sea takes Chang-rae Lee’s elegance of prose, his masterly storytelling, and his long-standing interests in identity, culture, work, and love, and lifts them to a new plane. Stepping from the realistic and historical territories of his previous work, Lee brings us into a world created from scratch. Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.
In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class—descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China—find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.
In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.
Boring for folks who like character development, action, and maybe a bit of romance
Ok, I admit...I am not an English, political science, or literature major. I realize that I do not have the patience of excessive prose/poetry/etc.. Give me a story that won't put me to sleep. I love novels by authors like Steig Larsson, Kevin Hearne, George R. R. Martin, Ender Scott, Sherilyn Kenyon.
This book is told in 3rd person and goes on fooorrrreeeeevvvveeerrrr about Socialist-like philosophies...oh, and look, folks may finally revolt after awhile. Ok, I get it...the future may need a more strict type of government after a major catastrophe...but, gosh...GET TO THE POINT !!!!!! After reading 37% of the book, you're finally getting only a hint of what the heroine, Fan, is doing. *yawn*
I really wanted to enjoy the book. I like reading different authors' versions of dystopia. "Hunger Games", "Allegiant/Divergent/Insurgent", "Darkness Falls" and "Clockwork Orange" all great series/books about living in dystopia.
But with this book, I get more excitment watching my basil grow.
Hunger Games dressed up as "literary fiction"
A strong 16 year old girl challenges the tyranny of a dystopian society in which a caste system compels the common people to manufacture luxury goods for the elite in an environmentally degraded North America. Sound familiar?
Writing is pretentious. Anachronisms abound.
If you are looking for a book that entertains or inspires, don't bother with this one. The author seems more focused on wordsmithing than telling a tale that could have been engaging and powerful, had the author's love of his own prose not interfered.