We didn’t do it on purpose. It just turned out this way. (Damn. Those could be the first lines of a book about a dystopian society.)
So, yeah. Our book club has read dystopian novels for 3 out of the past 6 months. And it’s beginning to wear on us.
Now, occasionally, we’ll do the theme thing: children’s books, short stories, books from our birth year. But this dystopian thing happened by accident.
We started out on this journey, blissfully innocent of the fate that awaited us. (Isn’t that always the way?)
Someone chose The Road by Cormac McCarthy. And guys? That’s one heck of a depressing book. I’m glad we read it, it was great for discussion, but man… Depressing. [Side note: even more depressing when read on the Megabus after wrecking one’s car. Don’t even think of trying this unless you are extremely stout of heart.*]
Then someone (oh, that would be me) decided, a couple of months later, that reading A Gate to Women’s Country would be a good idea. Many years earlier, it had helped me think through some things, and I thought now was the time to revisit it. And, of course, it didn’t have the same effect the second time around, so that was a bust. And the book was just not happy-making.
So, yeah: that, too, was depressing. And one of us got really honked off at that book, which actually was a bit entertaining because she is a calm person who usually doesn’t rant like that.
And then: a mere couple of months later, we were reading The Handmaid’s Tale. Dear Lord. Two of us were so burnt out, we didn’t even finish the book on time (and I pride myself on always finishing the book on time, even if it means wild bouts of skimming). This, too, was a book I’d read once before, more than a decade ago, and I remember it affecting me profoundly. (This was the book that convinced me completely that changing one’s name upon marriage was Not For Me.)
But after having read two other dystopian novels so recently, one of them also a gender dystopia thing, it was just plain too much.
So in the near future, I’m going to be saying No, No, No to any more novels of alternate societies that have gone bad.
*Turns out: That’s me