Amber’s Goodreads review of The Bradbury Report by Steven Polansky (audio book)

The Bradbury ReportThe Bradbury Report by Steven Polansky

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I give up. The detailed description of the shit in the clone’s pants did me in. 3 disks in but I don’t care how it ends; I’m returning it. More detailed review later.

[LATER] I had a few problems with this book, one of them not having to do with the novel itself but with the audiobook, which was narrated by the worst reader I’ve yet heard on these things. I’ve seen other reviewers posit that the narrator was merely playing the part of the dull, humorless, monotone and completely bland narrator of the novel, but the stilted way he read, like a slow student being asked to read aloud in class, gives me doubts. There are ways to read “monotone” and “dull” without making things sound so choppy.

The novel gets off to a super slow start; it reads less like any sort of “report” and more like a memoir. That would be fine if I wanted a memoir, but even for a memoir it felt false because it supposedly takes place in the future, and it felt exactly like a setting from the past. When our elderly narrator tells us of his college days, they don’t even sound like MY college days, and tracing his age back from the late 2000s would put his college days after mine. I’m not saying every futuristic novel has to be chockablock with sci-fi nonsense (everyone drinking Space Coffee and taking transporters to the holo-feelies or whatever) but damn. It could’ve been reckoning back to the 1960s or something. He doesn’t even mention stuff that exists TODAY. And this was published in 2010!

There are other small things:
-Why the hell (except to maybe show this character’s lack of imagination) would you give one woman the pseudonym “Anna” and another one the pseudonym “Ann”?

-People take FOREVER to get to the point. This is not suspense. THIS IS NOT SUSPENSE. There was one point where Anna said, “I’ll get to the point” and I said aloud, “PLEASE DO.”

-Maybe the fundamental flaw is that the MC is so goddamn boring and unlikable that I just don’t care about him. There’s really nothing to get into.

-The whole “clones for parts” is, all right, one of the classic sci-fi “what ifs” but personally I can’t even entertain it as much of a possibility given that 1. Human cloning is already illegal in the U.S. and 2. They’ve already demonstrated that it’s possible to just grow organs, either on a cleansed framework of animal organs populated with adult stem cells or 3D printed, so the possibility is driven even further from the realm of possibility.

-And, as I noted above, once they got to the in-depth description of a guy having shat his pants (no one would write that level of detail in a diary entry, no one) I was like, “NOPE!” and shut it off.

All in all it’s a slow, plodding, boring, mis-cast and mis-set sci-fi with no real sci that I can see (doesn’t help that no one knows the mechanics of cloning or much about it at all, and the story doesn’t hook me enough to make me want to stick around and find out – honestly I don’t even trust it would eventually tell me).

View all my reviews

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~ by Amber on March 15, 2013.

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