Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I recently completed the book Empire by Orson Scott Card. It was an enjoyable reading (actually listening as I downloaded it from Audible).

The book has an interesting tale about a civil war breaking out in the U.S. between the ultra-left and ultra-right wings. After having listened to Orson Scott Card in a podcast interview with Glenn Reynolds and having enjoyed his prior Ender books, I was looking forward to the story.

As I said, I enjoyed the story. My only complaint is that I had trouble "believing" parts of the story, albeit those parts were of the action scenes, not the story line. For instance in one chapter, our heroes each get up extra early one morning in D.C. and and figure "Well, we're up so lets go see ground zero in NYC." They get there, nobody is to be seen, and suddenly they are at the epicenter of the action. It felt contrived. But after that, I decided to just relax and let the story unfold however it was written.

The plot of a civil war though was much more believable. Granted at first I found most of it ringing completely false. Especially when the Army General starting spouting off sounding like our local talk radio spittle-master (whom I can't stand, and have blogged on before).

But as I continued into the book, and especially after Orson prologue, it doesn't seem so far fetched. I am seeing a lot of examples of just how escalated emotions are becoming. Already mentioned is the spittle-master who talks as though he were teaching a madrasa (substitute the word liberal for infidel and they are interchangeable).

Then there was the gathering of gay professionals when the conversation turned to politics (never a good turn of events). It didn't take long before enthusiastic talk about murdering the republican president started flying around the table.

These are not isolate incidents. They are happening all across the country by the extremes on both sides. And, as the book points out, they are being mainstreamed by politicians looking for advantages. Witness Hillary.

In any event, the book was enjoyable, although I would not put it in the same class of quality as the Ender novels. It is relatively short, fast paced, provides enough material to cause you to engage some gray matter, and is fun. I would definitely recommend it for summer reading.

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