Monday, February 4, 2013
a few words on January's reads...
Theme for the month: Ana's and Iris's Long-Awaited Reads Month...and it was fabulous! I went a bit further and made it Long-Awaited Reads That Are All Ana's Fault Month. I am ridiculously happy that I did. :D (Three of the five books I read this month fit theme. The 10P.M. Question and Bad Science without question. More Baths Less Talking took a bit of rationalization, but I stand by my arguments. I made it through most of another, but didn't quite finish it before the end of the month so it will be in February's reads.)
Ben Ross, a high school history teacher, shows his class a film about the Holocaust. Afterward, his students start asking all kinds of questions about why the German people never stood up to the Nazis and stopped the atrocities that were being committed. There were no answers that seemed satisfactory. So Ross decides to start a little experiment; he called it The Wave. And the results were both startling and frightening...
I can't believe I'd never heard of this book, but even more that I'd never heard about the real events that it was based on...it seems like something that surely would have come up in one of my many psychology or sociology classes back in school. Anyway, it was a very quick read, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I suppose it feels slightly dated (it was published in 1981), largely because of the lack of technology, but that didn't really feel like a bad thing to me.
Already talked about this one as well.
Anyway, the book. Set in Australia, it's the story of a group of teens who due to a wilderness camping trip miraculously avoid capture during an invasion of the country by an unnamed country. When they arrive home from their camping trip, they're met with scenes that boggle their imaginations. They grasp at innocuous explanations for as long as their minds will allow them, before eventually facing what must surely be the true facts. Then the tougher struggles begin...what will their consciences allow them to do, what can they realistically in practical terms do, what can they even hope for.
I realize that the way I described the story makes it all sound rather implausible, but trust me, Marsden does a wonderful job at filling in all the blanks. He creates an atmosphere that feels very real indeed, and he brings the characters, faults and all, to life in vivid color. I read this book aloud to Max. I've rarely had his attention quite so captured during a book as with this one. It is damn adrenaline-pumping at times. We started book two of the series, The Dead of the Night, the evening after finishing the first. And I know that I need to get my hands on the third to have it ready for when we finish the second.
Ana's review; it was she who introduced me to this book to start with.
Let me just say that this book is not in the slightest bit hard to comprehend. It is most definitely not dry; in fact, Ben Goldacre is actually quite the funny guy. And I can pretty much guarantee that you will walk away from it feeling much more confident in your ability to avoid bamboozlement by those who simply throw around the language of science without the evidence to back it up.
Okay, like I said--go read Ana's review.