PDF ✍ The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe Author D.G. Compton – Furosemidelasix.info

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 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 Katherine Mortenhoe is nothing special She s like everyone else she was born, she s misunderstood, she s disappointed, she will die and sooner than she d hoped She is a private person who lives in the public eye, a public composed of friends and not friends and strangers who are only barely seeing her and hearing her, who project who they think she is upon her Her motives and her actions are frequently misunderstood, much like everyone else She is vaguely disappointed with herself, but sh Katherine Mortenhoe is nothing special She s like everyone else she was born, she s misunderstood, she s disappointed, she will die and sooner than she d hoped She is a private person who lives in the public eye, a public composed of friends and not friends and strangers who are only barely seeing her and hearing her, who project who they think she is upon her Her motives and her actions are frequently misunderstood, much like everyone else She is vaguely disappointed with herself, but she probably couldn t articulate exactly why, much like everyone else Katherine Mortenhoe is nothing special, except for one thing she will have her last days recorded and broadcast, so that all the world can ooh and aah at the sentimental tragedy of it all.When is Science Fiction not Science Fiction When it s New Wave Science Fiction of course The science fictional trappings of this novel are simply that trappings Although this novel is quite definitively set in a future world, it may as well have been set in 1973, when it was first written, or in the right now of 2019 Everything in this book was relevant then as it is relevant now From the personal made public and lack of privacy in general to medical duplicity to cookie cutter novels designed to fit their audience s needs to the greedy interest that reality tv programming has in viewing and judging personal lives while simultaneously trying to transform and package three dimensional human beings and their complicated lives into easily accessible types and smoothly digestible narratives.Compton is a strong writer, switching between third and first person, sometimes quite sneakily and without warning, mid chapter He doesn t engage in any hand holding the reader must figure out this world on their own with no explanatory passages to help them along Nor does he make his characters easy to empathize with he forces readers to get to know them over time, to slowly understand them, until empathy is finally reached.I loved this book It is not a book that particularly wants to be loved, what with its cold critique of modern society and its very frequent examples of toxic, judgmental human pettiness and its portrait of a media and a medical world that not only don t care for you on a human level but are also all too willing to exploit and draw out your pain if they can make a few bucks off of you The book would probably be very uncomfortable with my open declaration of love, so I will revise that to say I really respected this book It is not a cold book, despite its acidity and its scathing critiques The book gives you scattered but very moving reminders that there is decency and kindness in humanity, whether in the form of a colleague who should be considered a best friend gay, of course or an ex husband who was the right person at the wrong time or an eccentric elderly stranger who will do what he can to help people in need Key to the book s success is that it makes clear that both the ambitious young fellow who is predatorily recording Katherine Mortenhoe and, muchimportantly, that Katherine herself are special They deserve to be seen as special, treated as special Their lives, their loves, their failings and their virtues, their ability to understand and connect with each other and with themselves, their dreams and the reality that they have to cope with are what makes them so Everyone s lives makes this soEverybody is special Everybody Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain Everybody Everybody has their story to tellAlan Moore 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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