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Lovelock (2001)

Lovelock (2001)
3.43 of 5 Votes: 3
031287751X (ISBN13: 9780312877514)
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Lovelock (2001)
Lovelock (2001)

About book: A Review of the AudiobookPerformed by Emily RankinDuration: 11 hours, 44 minutesBlackstone AudioProlific author Orson Scott Card has published dozens of books, a handful of plays, writes multiple newspaper columns, publishes an online magazine and even had a hand in the creation of several video games over the years. Oh, and just in case you haven’t heard, the movie version of his most famous novel, Ender’s Game is going to be released in November. So, in a way, Lovelock is a bit strange for such an ultra-prolific author. It was intended to be the first novel in a trilogy when it was written in 1994 but the rest of the books have never been written. Officially, according to Card’s website, the second book in the trilogy is called Rasputin, but it has been listed as “in progress” for almost 20 years. Lovelock was co-written with Kathryn H. Kidd, an author who mainly specializes in writing religious-based articles and books.Lovelock is the name of a Capuchin monkey and this story is told in the first person from his point of view. He is named for James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis. Lovelock is a witness, a genetically engineered and highly trained Capuchin monkey assigned to chronicle the existence of his owner for posterity. His owner is Carol Jeanne Cocciolone, the chief gaiaoligist on the first ship leaving a near future Earth to colonize a distant world. Gaialogists will help to design the final environment of their new world as it is terraformed.Capuchin monkeys are not the only witnesses, merely the top-of-the-line. They also use parrots and other animals. For example, Carol Jeanne’s husband, a family therapist, has a pig for a witness. The intelligence of these animals is enhanced to help them do their jobs better. The birds can speak and the monkeys can be taught to use sign language, for example. Lovelock speaks by writing or typing. He can read up to 2,000 words per minute and is quite the computer hacker. At the end of every day the video memory of what the witnesses saw is downloaded to a computer by way of a jack in the back of their skulls, tagged and cataloged. The main theme of the book is supposed to be...Read more at:

Big Orson Scott Card fan, not a big fan of this book. It probably has value as a prequel to a longer series, now that much of second plot is set up by this book.I'll grant that the audio performance was quite good, maybe too realistic when depicting the cries and whines of small children.Even with the fine reading, I just didn't buy most of what amounts to a complete lack of preparation for this endeavor by the ones tasked with it. Many of the characters were just ridiculous and had no place being there. At the end, I just don't care enough about the characters or the plot to even report on it with any kind of detail. Personal preference probably, but there was just nothing here for me.If it had been another 100 pages, I would have walked away from it - and I've only done that once (one of the books based on the video game "DOOM").
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Imagine a time when famous scientists have enhanced animals and/or birds to witness or record what happens around them. This is the case when Lovelock, an enhanced capuchin monkey witnesses for Carol Jean Cocciolone, world famous scientist who will be in charge of a group of experts preparing a world for inhabitation by a colony of people. In the meantime the people who live aboard a spaceship to create community bonding and begin to understand how life will be on the new planet. The tale is told by Lovelock whose intelligence is beyond the ability of most humans. He observes many interpersonal conflicts and changes and browses the computer system at his leisure learning even more about the community that will be and the people in it. The first of a trilogy, it's quite a good read.
Scott Lee
Card always writes tremendously human characters--when human is used as in "only human" as in weak, far from perfect, etc. This book is no exception. Card's other gift, in his best work, is a tremendous empathy and compassion for his characters. That compassion shows here, and man is it needed. Card has often gone to some dark places in exploring human nature, our many frailties, and the sins and crimes they lead us to. Generally he does so with a tremendous understanding, and he manages to have the book avoid passing judgment on the characters of this novel even while the narrator, an enhanced Capuchin monkey named Lovelock, passes judgment on the people around him with ease and regularity. This is a delicate balance, but Card easily allows us to see the biases and flaws in the first person narrator just as he rather mercilessly uses that narrator to fault everyone else around him. The world, story, and premise are interesting, and there's promise here that would probably keep me reading if the other books in what the cover claims is a trilogy actually existed. But with no hope for development or redemption for any of the characters in the novel it is simply too bleak on its own to offer much enjoyment. This is easily the bleakest portrait of humanity I've seen Card paint, and with no one to root for by the end of the novel all the skill in the world couldn't quite remove the bad taste from my mouth.
Very enjoyable with a few caveats: 1) a touch of the nonsensical creeps in (unless you *want* the mission to fail no scientist in their right mind would allow such overt religious influence); 2)some of the science seems outdated (compare asteroid-as-spaceship in Robinson's 2312 to this tech); and 3) as usual the adult characters are fairly transparent archetypes.Card's frequent themes of the ethics of control and resisting the powers-that-be have a subtler touch here, with more nuance coming from an enhanced monkey mind than from that of a child or adolescent. Perhaps this is Kidd's contribution; if so, it is welcomed. Minor distraction - I understand the desire to maintain a single POV but using diary entries to overcome the same read clumsily.Looking forward to the 2nd installment.
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