Too Like the Lightning

Too Like the Lightning Mycroft Canner is a convict For his crimes he is required as is the custom of the th century to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets Carlyle Foster is a sensayer a spiritual

  • Title: Too Like the Lightning
  • Author: Ada Palmer
  • ISBN: 9781466858749
  • Page: 371
  • Format: ebook
  • Mycroft Canner is a convict For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets Carlyle Foster is a sensayer a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.The world into which MycrMycroft Canner is a convict For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets Carlyle Foster is a sensayer a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s It is a hard won utopia built on technologically generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations And most of the world s population is affiliated with globe girdling clans of the like minded, whose endless economic and cultural competition is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell To them, it seems like normal life.And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life

    One thought on “Too Like the Lightning”

    1. Update 1/5/17:Re-read complete! And one thing I can definitely say without hesitation? : Definitely better the second time around. It's still mightily dense with ideas and worldbuilding and truly fascinating characters that always manage to surprise, surprise again, tease me to death with hints and portents, and then managing to slam me up against the wall in a very civilized fashion before disemboweling me. It's just that kind of novel.I'm loving the Marquis De Sade commentary as much this time [...]

    2. This is a hard one to review. It's a very ambitious, very complex, very intelligent novel.However, it also tries too hard. It's a bit too impressed with itself for being intelligent, ambitious and complex. More than once, I just felt like sighing and saying, "Relax! Drop all the meta- stuff and just let the inherent qualities of the story shine through without pointing them out to me." However, the book does have many good qualities, and I felt that some people would definitely appreciate its tw [...]

    3. 4.25ish stars I won't even attempt a brief summary. The briefest summary I could manage would still be TL;DR. I'll say this: It's ambitious, it's complex, it's confusing, it's got a lot to say. There are still a lot of things I'm unsure about:1) Can't quite tell if it's a mess or it's brilliant, probably somewhere in between. I just know that I'm pretty sure I liked it. 2) I say pretty sure because I don't really know if I understood it enough to like it. I'm not very well versed in the philosop [...]

    4. 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum bibliosanctum/2016/05/10/Has a book ever made you feel completely uncertain of how you’ll rate it? Like, what if you’re blown away by its ideas, but at the same time they make you feel utterly out of your depth? Or maybe, a book that you didn’t think would fit your tastes actually ends up surprising the hell out of you. Truth be told, it’s not often that I experience such conflict with a novel, but I’m also not surprised to find myself feeling like t [...]

    5. [Ok, DEEEEEP BREATH, Basia. You can do this!!!]Hmmm. I have been a VORACIOUS reader since I can remember, first in Poland, and then in the US. I've mentioned previously that I credit my love of reading with becoming fluent in this language in only six months. Some of you may also know I have edited since I learned the language; it came to me naturally, as I had no preconceived ideas about what the words might look like until I met them; I learned to read, write, and speak these simultaneously, a [...]

    6. Updated to add my Tor review: tor/2016/05/10/a-futurBut the short version -- they're science fiction that has a solid and fascinating world, great characters, and also that make you think about all kinds of things. Since I read these, hardly a day has gone by when something hasn't made me think of them. It's easy to find books that blow your head off making you think about things in new ways when you're fifteen, it's a lot harder when you're fifty. These books show a future, a world, possibiliti [...]

    7. If you know anyone who doubts the inventiveness of Science Fiction as a genre, who questions the form’s ability to encompass work of literary value, lend them a copy of Too Like the Lightning. This is a novel of massive ambition, fusing 18th century philosophy and ideas with a very well-built and awesomely convincing science fiction scenario that makes me excited for the future of my favorite genre.Palmer’s novel sets up a complex future unlike any other I’ve encountered. This is a future [...]

    8. (Re-read, original review below)I loved every minute of re-reading this book. It was completely different reading Ada Palmer's prose from my initial experience listening to the brilliantly performed audiobook. The first time through it seemed like the audiobook required every neuron of my brain to focus on the story to follow it. I was constantly rewinding and writing notes while thoroughly absorbed. This time I could just enjoy the experience and revel in Palmer's (insert superlative) orgasmic [...]

    9. I can't believe I made it! Do you know the kind of dream in which you try to run away or push something open but your limbs are just too gooey, too slow? As if you were under water? Getting through this book was like that.The story is about the far future. The author deliberately made it "weird" to the reader by creating a world in which gender is not indicated when talking to or about a person, where religion may not be talked about in a group of 3 or more unless an overseer (a sensayer) is pre [...]

    10. Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.Ambitious. Complex. Thought-provoking. Ada Palmer’s debut novel, Too Like the Lightning, is all those things and more. The book truly an intellectual piece of science fiction literature, not only in its themes (political, societal, philosophical, and religious) but also in the ornate, elegant, and nuanced writing style. Demanding your full attention, this novel’s complete depth cannot be appreciated without devoting time and effort to first consuming it bef [...]

    11. You will criticize me, reader, for writing in a style six hundred years removed from the events I describe, but you came to me for explanation of those days of transformation which left your world the world it is, and since it was the philosophy of the Eighteenth Century, heavy with optimism and ambition, whose abrupt revival birthed the recent revolution, so it is only in the language of the Enlightenment, rich with opinion and sentiment, that those days can be described. You must forgive me my [...]

    12. Finally finished it a long read for not a long book.Did I very much enjoyed parts of it? sureDid I very much find some parts of it disgusting? again sureIs this book brilliant?it definitely isSo how I'm going to review this excellent and at same time weird SF book?The story is told by Mycroft Canner the ex mass murderer and convict who now serves society and mostly high powers as a servicer which is now a lighthearted pacifist. This is a new high tech world which countries aren't powers anymore [...]

    13. This might be the weirdest book I've ever read. Well, the weirdest book I've read that I actually ended up enjoying. I might have to think a while before officially giving it that award. My instinct is to put this review away and not think about it for weeks. I just want to sit with the story, let it brew and fester in my mind a little bit. But I know if I do that, I will forget everything and end up floundering around when it actually comes time to write. I might be more eloquent about the book [...]

    14. It's the 25th century and our narrator is Mycroft Canner, a Servicer, a property-less criminal made into a servant of society. The world is interconnected by mass transit that means nowhere on Earth is more than a few hours separated, and that, as well as ubiquitous network access and tracking has made the old nation-states largely irrelevant. Instead the social structure of this time is made up of Hives, chosen nations of like-minded individuals, some descended from the old nations, and some fr [...]

    15. The chief appeal of this Novel appears to be that, rather than the entirety of the Interest hanging upon one or two Characters, as is generally the case in novels, the sly narrator introduces us, at first, to a whole ‘family’—herein known as a bash’—every individual of which excites the interest, and both puzzles and Intrigues the Reader.Initially, the plot seems simple—indeed, more simple than the complexities of bash’ relations—as we discover that what amounts to a yearly list [...]

    16. Let us, dear reader, began with an examination of the New: many are they who profess a wonderment and a bittersweet nostalgia at the child mindset, for whom all is novel and therefore exciting. If you can indulge my own example, I remember demonstrating basic physics (gravitation) to my three year old nephew. I was highly curious, would he possess the ability to note basic patterns and take delight in them, as I do?So I gathered many objects, different in shape and material: a small book, a fluf [...]

    17. This is going to be an incoherent review, so I'll apologize right off the bat. This is not an easy book. It was 430 pages of struggle for me. There are few info dumps. The style is different. Mycroft Canner (the main character) is writing this book in the style of the 18th century (sort of- most of the book is written perfectly normally) to address someone reading it from the future. He frequently addresses the reader, breaking the flow of the narrative to address the reader in thee and thou and [...]

    18. Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer is a great look upon future developments of modern society. Her ideas are mindboggling and yet firmly rooted in the world that we live in today.People organize in order of their ideology supposed to living in certain areas of the world. The need for national states isn't existing anymore, due to fast travel possibilities, so you can live and work whereever you want.For this to work some of the freedoms we have in our society have been removed, like your right [...]

    19. Too Like the Lightning is a consistently brilliant novel and a relentlessly exhausting one. Ada Palmer clearly possesses a high intellect and a fervent imagination, and her debut novel bears the fruits of that combination with aplomb. I feel like this is going to be a much talked about and debated novel, and possibly a polarizing one. For now, I think the less said about it the better. But I might find myself inclined to jump into a conversation or two about it down the road.Some recommendations [...]

    20. This is going to be a hard one to review, therefore I'm not even going to try, but I will say that this novel is ambitious, it borrows heavily from western philosophy and aims at a complex futuristic society who have learned to do away with the problems (war,murder, greed, violence) we deal today . or have they? .Add a repentant murderer , a child who could change everything and you'll have the basics of this book. if you read this , let me know what you think of it !

    21. Honestly not sure when I last enjoyed a novel this much. "Enjoyed" is too weak a word, even -- captivated, spellbound, whatever the word is for the thing that is much rarer than thinking "yeah, this is a good novel." A good novel, but also a Good Novel.Let me try to explain what I mean by the capital letters.I could, perhaps, try to convey what is good about this book by listing everything it does well; by telling you that, for a great range of things readers might want out of a novel, this book [...]

    22. Mostly yes and more than just a bit of no. Absolutely, unreservedly yes for the following reasons:Despite being possibly overly Eurocentric and Enlightenment-centric, a depiction of an extremely unlikely future society, and a very dense, labyrinthine, convulted and often confusing narrative - but somehow such an unusual mix of philosophy and sociology, written with such obvious passion and a mixture of lyrical delicacy and veiled brutality that I was riveted. I read Ms Palmer's afterword, where [...]

    23. Quick thoughts: Not an easy book to get through. I felt like I had to work hard to understand the world, and the culture. And, not having any familiarity with Enlightenment philosophers, I think the bases for the different Hives and the characters' behaviours was probably lost on me. There were parts of the book that I really enjoyed, and other parts where I felt lost. The setting is fascinating, and the way gender and religion are handled was interesting. I feel like I should have loved this bu [...]

    24. I learned about this book through the Tournament of Books - the second volume in the series is on the 2018 long list and it sounded so good, I had to start the series. This is a dense book, in a good way. Even though the publishers blurb makes it sound action packed (and it is) the action takes place in an extremely complex world, so you can't speed-read your way through it. In this world, civilization is divided into 'hives' created after humanity came close to obliterating itself through relig [...]

    25. The most stunning science-fiction debut since The Quantum Thief. A hard read especially in the beginning but the rewards are phenomenal. Extremely innovative and fabulously frustrating, with mind-blowing social, economic and political ideas, dense world-building and a fascinating exploration of gender, this book wrestles with the readers's mind, it pushes them way out of the their comfort zone and it will leave them forever changed.

    26. the prose didn't click for me - the book is ambitious for sure, but I couldn't muster any interest as the pages I read (from many parts of the book including the ending) seemed just to drone on; maybe if you are interested in abstractions expressed in a novel this would work for you, but the book just has no "life"

    27. Oh wow, I noped hard reading this one. I pushed through swearing and making faces. Because while I really wanted to find the answers to some of the questions, and to see what happens with the premise, the journey yeah, the journey was mostly interesting and sometimes gripping but NOT enjoyable. And not for the right reasons, either.The short version: this book is very messy and some of it is on purpose but I'm not convinced it's worth it, while other ways are (I think) not on purpose, and they m [...]

    28. When I first agreed to review Too Like the Lightning all I really knew was that a futuristic sci-fi political thriller sounded very interesting. I wasn’t sure that I would ultimately enjoy it, but sometimes you come across a new favorite. I cannot say that this is a new favorite or that I will continue with future books in this series, but it was thought provoking.Ada Palmer was certainly ambitious when writing her debut novel and for that alone I say bravo. She literally wrought a future Eart [...]

    29. It's hard to say exactly what this book is like. It's a scifi book, stuffed to overflowing with futurist ideas. It's written in a historical style, where the in-universe narrator goes full on "dear reader" at you. It's like an onion, where mysteries are peeled back and peeled back and peeled back, and every answer engenders more questions. It's a love letter to the philosophers and thinkers of the past, especially to the Enlightenment. But it describes violent acts (although not in the moment th [...]

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