[Epub] The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe By D.G. Compton – Sunkgirls.info

[Epub] The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe By D.G. Compton – Sunkgirls.info This book is about a hundred pages too long The first 2 3 was fascinating, utterly riveting Then the main characters went on the run together and it deteriorated very quickly The writing is good the characters are excellent the plotting is abysmal.This book is almost universally described by readers as the best science fiction I have ever read If you are thinking about reading it you should know that there is actually precious little science fiction in it The speculative elements that a This book is about a hundred pages too long The first 2 3 was fascinating, utterly riveting Then the main characters went on the run together and it deteriorated very quickly The writing is good the characters are excellent the plotting is abysmal.This book is almost universally described by readers as the best science fiction I have ever read If you are thinking about reading it you should know that there is actually precious little science fiction in it The speculative elements that are there are remarkably prescient e g reality tvthe book was written in the 1970s but are entirely non essential and somewhat intrusive to the storyline itself DAW Collectors 102Cover Artist Karel TholeName Compton, David Guy, Birthplace London, England, UK, 19 August 1930.While the benefits of disease eradication are oft desired, the ramifications of such a world are not hard to imagine overpopulation, senescence, entropy Speculative fiction has played with this trope for ages, resulting in stories that span from the optimistic to the apocalyptic to the zombie apocalyptic Some might argue that it s overdone, but that doesn t stop writers from c DAW Collectors 102Cover Artist Karel TholeName Compton, David Guy, Birthplace London, England, UK, 19 August 1930.While the benefits of disease eradication are oft desired, the ramifications of such a world are not hard to imagine overpopulation, senescence, entropy Speculative fiction has played with this trope for ages, resulting in stories that span from the optimistic to the apocalyptic to the zombie apocalyptic Some might argue that it s overdone, but that doesn t stop writers from continuing the trend, because it s something we all want, we don t have, and we should fear what we don t have because we might not ever have it or understand it, and also vaccinations might cause zombies.Katherine Mortenhoe is a middle aged computabook programmer, a The blurb says she s young and beautiful, but blurbs are usually stupid and this one is overdramatized and misleading She learns that she has four weeks to live, and NTV wants to film her last days for the popular Human Destinies reality TV show Rod is hired to film her with his surgically implanted TV camera eyes, the world s morbid curiosity made flesh p 203 , but Katherine would rather die in peace, and off camera, and Rod would rather earn his big paycheck without betraying and humiliating the dying Katherine Mortenhoe Instead, Rod befriends Katherine while she s on the run from NTV, and they develop a strange, tense friendship based on her need for love and care, and his need to overcome the guilt of his duplicity Compton s simple prose is loaded with characterization Somehow, the voicing comes alive, even for the supporting characters.The book is also known as The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe A Forgotten SF Classic That Exposed The Pitfalls Of Voyeuristic Entertainment Decades Before The Reality Show Craze A Few Years In The Future, Medical Science Has Advanced To The Point Where It Is Practically Unheard Of For People To Die Of Any Cause Except Old Age The Few Exceptions Provide The Fodder For A New Kind Of Television Show For Avid Audiences Who Lap Up The Experience Of Watching Someone Else S Dying Weeks So When Katherine Mortenhoe Is Told That She Has About Four Weeks To Live, She Knows It S Not Just Her Life She S About To Lose But Her Privacy As Well I have finally found time to reread this novel before posting about it, and the second time through opened my eyes to muchthan I found the first time This book was my real world book group s read at the end of June it is also one of the most thought provoking novels I ve read in a long while Written in 1974, and alternatively titled The Unsleeping Eye, it seems almost prescient, as it deals with issues that are at the center of debate forty plus years later It s also a book I can certa I have finally found time to reread this novel before posting about it, and the second time through opened my eyes to muchthan I found the first time This book was my real world book group s read at the end of June it is also one of the most thought provoking novels I ve read in a long while Written in 1974, and alternatively titled The Unsleeping Eye, it seems almost prescient, as it deals with issues that are at the center of debate forty plus years later It s also a book I can certainly recommend.https www.readingavidly.com 2019 07As Jeff VanderMeer says in his introduction, the future in which the novel is set is an uncanny mirror of our own, of an age in which everyone really is a camera eye, or at least carries one around in his pocket While there is a great focus on the overreach of technology and reality television, which caused no end of discussion with the ladies in my book group, The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe is a very human novel at its core It unravels slowly to eventually become a story of not just death and dying, but also of relationships in a society where everything is driven by technology It not only asks how well can we truly know someone, but at its heart is, again quoting VanderMeer from the intro, a portrait of an intelligent, middle aged woman grappling with the ultimate existential crisis How does one conduct oneself while dying It was difficult to put down once I started reading, and it s also not hard to imagine while reading that yesterday s fiction has become today s reality, which for me in this particular instance is a rather disturbing thought I saw that Jeff VanderMeer had written the introduction for this, so I snagged it when it became available in Edelweiss for review.I wasn t super into it I think I was struggling to read it in the context of that time Because reality tv is so pervasive now, it s almost a logical step to consider a reality show that follows a death We have some of that already when people announce they are choosing assisted suicide, when news becomes reality tv But considering that this is from the 1970s, it I saw that Jeff VanderMeer had written the introduction for this, so I snagged it when it became available in Edelweiss for review.I wasn t super into it I think I was struggling to read it in the context of that time Because reality tv is so pervasive now, it s almost a logical step to consider a reality show that follows a death We have some of that already when people announce they are choosing assisted suicide, when news becomes reality tv But considering that this is from the 1970s, it is very smart in predicting the future.To me, this felt a bit like Philip K Dick in tone If you like him you are likely to enjoy this Thanks to Edelweiss for a chance to see the fresh release of this classic I hadn t heard of the author before. First something I must get off my chest I heartily dislike the new goodreads homepage It s far too busy, I much preferred the less cluttered old version Secondly, this is a short novel and only took me three days to read because it is, pardon my French, grim as fuck A bitterer,cynical sci fi novel I have rarely come across The conceit is as follows Katherine Mortenhoe is diagnosed with a terminal illness that will kill her in mere weeks As such illnesses are vanishingly rare, she im First something I must get off my chest I heartily dislike the new goodreads homepage It s far too busy, I much preferred the less cluttered old version Secondly, this is a short novel and only took me three days to read because it is, pardon my French, grim as fuck A bitterer,cynical sci fi novel I have rarely come across The conceit is as follows Katherine Mortenhoe is diagnosed with a terminal illness that will kill her in mere weeks As such illnesses are vanishingly rare, she immediately becomes a celebrity and is hounded by the media A man with TV cameras in his eyes follows her around, trying to make a reality TV show about her Although there is a dark humour about all this, it s a nasty, angry sort of humour that isn t really funny The writing is at times witty, yet never in a light hearted fashion For example this moment when Katherine has just been diagnosed and phones a church Vicar Pemberton speaking So then it was too late for her to change her mind I m going to die, she said You wouldn t have rung me if you really believed that What have you taken I ve taken umbrage This novel which has also been published under the name The Unsleeping Eye first came out in 1974 and reads as unsettlingly prescient The voyeuristic media obsession with unusual categories of suffering and the pervasiveness of reality TV are foreseen very clearly Many background details of world building seem entirely too convincing tokenistic privacy laws, rampant inequality, and constant protest marches that are ignored and disregarded The book has aged pretty well as the focus is on social change, not technological It s a particularly cynical analysis of social and individual psychology Despite the proximity of Katherine to the reader the point of view is split between her and the cameraman it s hard to sympathise with her as a person The narrative places you in such a similar position to those watching her dying on TV that reading about her becomes uncomfortable Knowing how she feels seems voyeuristic, a clever effect to pull off in a novel view spoiler I should also add that to me the most horrible incident in the book doesn t involve Katherine at all At one point when Rod the cameraman is driving, he comes across a protest blocking the road Impatient, he tries to get through line of marchers by slipping after another vehicle In the process he runs over two people, killing one The callous atmosphere surrounding this murder manslaughter is absolutely chilling and Rod recounts the episode with an air of self justification, mixed with disbelief that his actions could have such serious consequences The police pick him up then assure him there will be no charges and no one will care The dead woman and injured man are nameless, faceless, disregarded I think this scene which had no plot purpose that I could discern demonstrated both the dangerous mindset that driving can breed and that media voyeurism is as much about what is not shown as what is splashed everywhere Whereas Katherine s illness apparently justifies a huge amount of media time and money, deaths in road accidents and on untelegenic protests create no interest whatsoever Plus a change hide spoiler The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe is a smart book, albeit one shot through with both petty and grand cruelties and seemingly determined to undermine the reader s faith in humanity It is a powerful and memorable piece of fiction, but not at all pleasant to read It was no surprise to find the ending just as depressing as the rest Thus I can only give it three stars It s a rare book that has both an NYRB Classics edition and an SF Masterwork edition, but don t let that raise your expectations The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe got reprinted by NYRB Classics because someone thought it could be pitched as one of those prescient works of science fiction that predicted a current trend, in this case reality television It got the SF Masterwork edition, on the other hand, because the SF Masterwork collection is decidedly a mixed bag The premise here is undercut It s a rare book that has both an NYRB Classics edition and an SF Masterwork edition, but don t let that raise your expectations The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe got reprinted by NYRB Classics because someone thought it could be pitched as one of those prescient works of science fiction that predicted a current trend, in this case reality television It got the SF Masterwork edition, on the other hand, because the SF Masterwork collection is decidedly a mixed bag The premise here is undercut by the setting, Compton fails at establishing the needed connection to the characters, and ultimately the work has nothing to say People sometimes malign literary science fiction as pretentious and boring I wouldn t offer The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe as a counterexample Let s state clearly that this work isn t prescient in the least Reality television had been around for decades prior to The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe s original publication in 1973, and there s never been a popular reality television show obsessed with the death of its subjects either The closest you get is the schadenfreude of shows about hoarders and the morbidly obese, which as far as I m aware have always had a small viewership compared to the competitive reality shows where people try to win fame, fortune, or love So there s no real analogue to the show in the real world, and even in the setting of the book the premise of the show doesn t work We are informed that people want to watch a show about Katherine Mortenhoe s final days because in the future people live to such old age and death is such a rarity that people have an insatiable unconscious hunger for death and suffering that the media caters to But the book itself contradicts this premise with a setting that is still full of death and violence, with fatal car crashes, bombings, shootings, masked gangs wandering the countryside and assaulting drivers, andD.G Compton evidently forgot the premise underpinning the driving plot of the book after the first fifty pages.So the reasoning behind making this reality show starring the dying Katherine Mortenhoe doesn t make sense, but the book could still work if it made you care about Mortenhoe s demise or if the book had insights into death or the media that it could share Unfortunately the book fails on both counts You don t care about Mortenhoe s demise because you don t really care about the fates of any character in this book Mortenhoe is presented initially as a rather unsympathetic hypochondriac who doesn t really love her husband but settled for him, who writes up computer programs that write books but never writes herself, who is condescending regarding her employee only friend, who just generally isn t likable Roderick Roddie is the reported assigned to cover Mortenhoe s downward spiral, who has recently had cameras implanted behind his eyes without seemingly ever considering the downsides to such a procedure downsides which include the inability to sleep or experience darkness, a detail that makes no technological sense and that is added to shoehorn in some inorganic drama near the book s conclusion The book is rounded out by such characters as a couple media executives without consciences, a doctor willing to sacrifice his client s wellbeing for money, a selfish and ultimately unfaithful husband, and others Outside of Roddie s ex wife, who puts up with her ex husband for no discernible reason, a gay BFF clich , and an old guy who does puppet shows, all the characters are the type of people you wouldn t mind seeing die in a fire This is a problem where the approaching death of the main character is supposed to be an affecting journey, and this problem is only made worse when a race against time aspect is shoved into the narrative as well Even if it didn t make you care about Katherine s death, and sometimes in fact made you wish it could be sped up a bit, the book could still work if it had something interesting to say But The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe has no wisdom to impart concerning death, or the media, or anything else that I can recall We get a half baked philosophy from Roddie on the need for continuous observation of a subject to truly know them, the natural endpoint for that philosophy would seem to me to be something like The Truman Show, but Roddie instead settles for following someone around for a week The media in The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe is a nigh all powerful entity that can command the police to assist in its television shows, so it isn t very similar to an actual television network, and besides some general points about the immorality of the business and its participants there aren t any insights here either If you re looking for a book that contemplates death in an insightful way, don t look here, go read Jerusalem by Tavares, or Aniara by Martinson, or of course The Death of Ivan Ilych by Tolstoy Instead of interesting ideas, The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe gives you passages like this The word stopped her Even the Dial A Vicar had preferred to talk of failure and success, rather than sin and virtue But she d crawled out of antediluvian mud on the legs of curiosity, and descended from ancient trees in search of somethingthan survival Did I mention that the writing isn t very good After that passage do I have to The book is also rife with too on the nose names, like the late night spot called Night Hawk s, after the Hopper painting, or of course the name Mortenhoe How clever.Its main premise doesn t make sense, Compton fails to create the necessary bonds between reader and character, it doesn t say anything interesting, and it s not well written It has other flaws too, but you get the gist Despite the collections it is a part of, The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe is one you should skip The NYRB gave this all but forgotten New Wave Sci Fi classic its seal of approval with a re issue a few years ago Compton s story of a woman diagnosed with an incurable disease in a disease free future touches on the balance between privacy rights and journalism, and also meditates on the larger issue of how well we can ever know our fellow humans The story moves ponderously at times and has that 1970s stink about it but remains worth reading. Most, if not all, of us have seen part of or even a whole episode of a reality show Even though of us that avoid the Real Housewives series like the plague have watched shows on HGTV, a cooking show, or even a show like Deadliest Catch Whether or not we still watch them is a different story, but odds are you have seen part of a reality show sometime At their best, reality shows are educational cooking show for instance, or blended with competition like say some cooking shows or the Amazin Most, if not all, of us have seen part of or even a whole episode of a reality show Even though of us that avoid the Real Housewives series like the plague have watched shows on HGTV, a cooking show, or even a show like Deadliest Catch Whether or not we still watch them is a different story, but odds are you have seen part of a reality show sometime At their best, reality shows are educational cooking show for instance, or blended with competition like say some cooking shows or the Amazing Race At their worst, reality shows reveal the lowest common denominator of human existence It is not just the people who go on such programs though why a father who goes on a show like the Bachelor isn t considered unfit, I don t know , but the audience as well At some level, people watch reality programs to feel superior, to judge, to feel better about their lives I may not be rich like so so but at least my children are not spoiled brats and so on At times, the audience may feel empathy, but that sense of superiority is usually present What is worse, because the term cast is used to describe those on reality shows, there is a belief that everything about them should be made common knowledge Evendamning in today s age of social media that is starting to be true about everyone At times, I am amazed at what some people post on sites like Face book I don t understand why the minute someone leaves home they have to tweet about how they just got on the bus Who cares Eventually, because people are human, the tweeter is going to do something stupid Watch out for the human sharks then People start to complain about the lack of privacy and some of us joke at it, I sometimes use a network called NSA surveillance , yet, theI think about it, it seems my friend is right as well It is both a lack of privacy, but also a lack of empathy I hated shows like Funniest Home Videos because for every truly funny cat or dog video, there was a video of someone with toilet paper stuck to his her bum dancing at a wedding Why didn t the recorder tell the person Why when someone falls, everyone pulls out camera so to record but does nothing I can understand if there is gunfire, but surely helping the person out of the fountain would be the empathic thing to do We are do embarrassing and not so nice shit What gives anyone the right to broadcast us at a stupid moment It isn t even just letting the man die outside the 7 11 or in the street it s not helping the woman who crashed her bike I m not talking about snitching for that is a whole host of issues I just mean common empathy and politeness Holding the door open, saying thank you or good morning Not rushing to judgment Which in many ways is what this book is about Written in the 70s, the Continuous Katherine describes a society that is not to far removed from our own There have been reality stars that have died on television In this book, one woman doesn t want to die in public but in private The media and its viewership does not want to let her do that, and in fact, the media has an ace up its sleeve A certain network has discovered a very interesting way to use cameras What then follows is a critical look at both media and the society that consumes it The book does have its flaws There is a road trip that goes on a bit too long, though it also includes a good bit about class and underclass There are a couple of sequences that while the reader will understand why they are there, the novel could have also done without them The most brilliant aspect of the novel is the use of two primary narrative points of views Katherine s and a reporter s One of the most well crafted aspects of the novel is the use of empathy or to beexact the use of lack of empathy This is something that Katherine herself at the start of the novel has She isn t described as the iconoclast or the rebel She is simply a person, a cog She is normal She is every day The story might under fold a slightly different way were she a he, after all society does judge the genders differently The empathy theme is used most wonderfully and thought provoking with the use of the public, those that consume the media After all, the media needs us If we are going to blame the media for what we are, Compton seems to be saying, we must remember our role in it as well Not only that but how those around a person respond to such fame Of course, the book is also about how we respond to death as well as a look at how closely things become tied together Seriously, this book will make you think and it is still timely It will make you think about empathy Note July 2016 NYRB Book of the Month A 1970s spec classic reissued with a fresh tonguing from Jeff Vandermeer Set in a dystopic future this one , where the pain starved public crave reality shows about the moribund, eager to soak up their final croaks, stiff romance novel editor Katherine Mortenhoe is told about her terminus by a seedy doc in the pockets of a Murdoch like TV empire Split between a first person account of human camera Roddie, tailing the heroine, and third person narration of the arch and quick witted Katherine, A 1970s spec classic reissued with a fresh tonguing from Jeff Vandermeer Set in a dystopic future this one , where the pain starved public crave reality shows about the moribund, eager to soak up their final croaks, stiff romance novel editor Katherine Mortenhoe is told about her terminus by a seedy doc in the pockets of a Murdoch like TV empire Split between a first person account of human camera Roddie, tailing the heroine, and third person narration of the arch and quick witted Katherine, the novel is a smart suckerpunch to the amoral digital age of the time, an age enhanced tenfold since the seventies, and like the finest spec novels, has predicted the boorishness of the future the handling of reality TV figure Jade Goody s terminal cancer was a shameful intrusion on the dignity of dying Compton s prose is not sensational but seriously above par for a spec dealer

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