Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism by David Nickle

Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism


The year is 1911. In Cold Spring Harbour, New York, the newly formed Eugenics Records Office is sending its agents to catalogue the infirm, the insane, and the criminal - with an eye to a cull, for the betterment of all. Near Cracked Wheel, Montana, a terrible illness leaves Jason Thistledown an orphan, stranded in his dead mother's cabin until the spring thaw shows him the true meaning of devastation - and the barest thread of hope. At the edge of the utopian mill town of Eliada, Idaho, Doctor Andrew Waggoner faces a Klansman's noose and glimpses wonder in the twisting face of the patient known only as Mister Juke. And deep in a mountain lake overlooking that town, something stirs, and thinks, in its way: Things are looking up.
Eutopia follows Jason and Andrew as together and alone, they delve into the secrets of Eliada - industrialist Garrison Harper's attempt to incubate a perfect community on the edge of the dark woods and mountains of northern Idaho. What they find reveals the true, terrible cost of perfection - the cruelty of the surgeon's knife - the folly of the cull - and a monstrous pact with beings that use perfection as a weapon, and faith as a trap.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1084 KB
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1926851110
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ChiZine Publications; First edition (April 14, 2011)

Authors Website: http://sites.google.com/site/davidnickle/


I was so excited to read this book. The plot was involved and interesting, overall the book was really well written. The main characters Dr. Waggoner and Jason Thistledown were easy to like and you pulled for them through out the book. I also really enjoyed nurse Annie, some of the Tavishes and Sam Greene, there were times that I was unsure of their motives, but the author played out their stories well. I loved Sam Greene's ending and thought that it was very fitting. However, I didn't really like the book overall, the characters I mentioned were my favorites, but this story involved so many characters, many of them with horrible ulterior motives, that it was hard to care about them all. The main story, about the Jinks, didn't get started until about halfway through the book. I guess that was my main problem, too much back story that, depending on the type of reader you are, may or may not have added to the story. It just seemed to slow everything down for me, until the very climatic ending. I did feel that the ending of the book was a bit of a let down after everything that just happened. I wanted more than just survival, I wanted to know what happened after that initial part downstream. There is some language and sex. Plenty of violence. The word "nigger" is used a lot in referring to  Dr. Waggoner. I understand he is a black character and was trying to overcome very prejudiced people, but I would have understood that without the term being used at all. I maybe more sensitive to it being from the South, but I didn't think it added anything to the story and it may turn some people off from finishing the book.   Overall I give it two moons. It just wasn't for me, but it was an interesting story.

Happy Reading,

2 moons
2 moons: It was ok.

Recommended For

An adult read. There is some language and sex. Plenty of violence.

*This  ARC was provided to me by the publishers via Net Galley.*

1 comment:

  1. The plot sounds awesome, but I too am uncomfortable with the n word. I know that in a lot of literature, it is used to illustrate the ignorance of the user, but it still makes me cringe a little bit. I've got this book on my netgalley tbr, it sounds like something I'd enjoy, but I'll keep your review in mind and try not to expect too much, but just enjoy it for what it is :)

    -Kate the Book Buff
    The Book Buff: Book Reviews for Regular People


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