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Book cover  It took me forever to read this rather short book, because I didn't want to. The Genocides features unlikable characters in a bland setting and written by Thomas M. Disch in a way that feels very religious, without also feeling spiritual. It was written in 1965, but feels older than that: it's unnecessarily dated, it brings nothing new to the table, it lacks any kind of moral or closure. Basically a bunch of rednecks die slowly as the Earth is choked by alien plants. The alien plants were the most interesting bit, but they were not really explored in any detail. I hated this book.

  In a way, it started really well. You have some spores that apparently arrived from outer space germinating like crazy into plants that choke everything, are not nutritious and adapt to anything people throw at them. The human response is swift: total societal collapse, followed by widespread famine, ecological death and ultimately extinction. And with humanity's whimpery end as the background we... read about a village controlled by a tyrannical religious patriarch as they... can do nothing about anything and die.

  The main characters are a family of hicks running the village and trying to save its people, a guy from the city bent on slow revenge, a bunch of cardboard people who are mostly represented by a number of how many are left. None of them actually achieve what they set up to do. They all fail miserably, disgustingly and pathetically, kind of like how the author himself died in 2008 when he killed himself. And then the book ends.

  The writing style was decent, but it was so obvious that everything was connected to some kind of biblical metaphor the author had in mind, even when it was not spelled out. It all felt like the sermon of that one skinny priest that doesn't seem to ever enjoy anything and resents it in other people. I don't know who recommended this book to me, but now I have a desire for slow humiliating revenge against them.


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