The Resisters

The Resisters

A Novel

Book - 2020
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An audacious wonder of a novel about baseball and a future America, from the always inventive and exciting author of The Love Wife and Who's Irish. The time: Some thirty-five years hence. The place: AutoAmerica--governed by "Aunt Nettie," an iBurrito of AI algorithms and the internet, in a land half under water. The people: Divided into the angelfair "Netted," whose fate it is to have jobs and live on high ground, and the mostly coppertoned "Surplus," whose jobs have been stripped and whose sole duty now is to consume, living in plastic houses that talk and multi-colored houseboats at the water's edge. Neither group is happy. The story: A Surplus family--he was once a professor, she is still a lawyer--has a girl child, Gwen, who's born with a golden arm. By two she can throw her toy animals straight to the same spot every time. When AutoAmerica and ChinRussia decide to revive the Olympics, suddenly Gwen, who's been playing in the Resisters League her parents have organized, is in great demand. Soon she's at angelfair university, Net U, falling in love with her baseball coach and facing questions of "crossing over," while her mother and her "group" are bringing charges before the botjudge about Surplus rights. An amazing story of a world that looks only too possible, and a family struggling to maintain its humanity in circumstances that daily threaten their every value as well as their very existence.
Published: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780525657217
Branch Call Number: F JEN
Characteristics: 301 pages ;,22 cm


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Dec 01, 2020

This is an interesting mix of genres- speculative fiction, dystopian society, even, yes, a baseball tale. It presents a possible future base on the economics of capitalism and guided by an A.I. that may not have the best interests of humanity as it's purpose. The world is shown to us in broad strokes, no real details on how it got to that point. But that is just background for a group of resisting consumers to rise up against the upper class working people. Baseball, is the catalyst, and it was fun to read about baseball in the future. The young resistor is a stud and she works her way as a pitcher in a clandestine league and up to the Olympic Games. Like a batter, this novel has its swings and misses, but it triumphs in its spirit.

Jul 22, 2020

A science-fiction like story with baseball at its core. It tells the story of a family of Surplus people who are "resisting" their lower place in society, a bleak world not too far in the future that has been ravished by climate change and is run by technocrats, AI, big data, and robots. I liked the language and story, partly because I've always like science fiction, and partly because Gish really knows baseball. The resisters never give up. Here's hoping that we prove as resilient as the people in this story as we face our current and future societal futures.

Jul 09, 2020

I can't say I loved this book. It sort of boils down to a philosophical conversation of the idea of privacy and automation … which certainly provides many interesting conversations and debates. However, as a novel, it doesn't quite provide enough entertainment to keep pushing you forward.

Apr 30, 2020

I read 24% before abandoning this book. The world-building was weak, with cartoonish nomenclature, preposterous geopolitics, and arbitrary social engineering. This structure wasn't sturdy enough to support the very real issues that came up in the setup and plot--classism, racism, privacy, etc. Taken together, all this made for a world that didn't feel real.

Character development was weak, too. For some reason that may have become clear later in the book, the narrator was the character least involved in the action. We learn of everything at some distance. With their inner worlds not fleshed out, the key characters felt thin. Much of the dialogue was stilted. At other times, deep emotional moments would resolve with platitudes. Again, taken together, these factors made for characters that didn't feel real.

Mar 01, 2020

The interesting thing about speculative fiction is how it makes us look at our own lives. In AutoAmerica, humans do nothing. Artificial Intelligence handles everything, no thinking required. But in the elite group, the “Netted” there are resisters. And the family in the story resist what is being taken from them. Gwen, the daughter of Grant and Eleanor, is a baseball whiz. She’s so good that she’s pressured to undergo genetic engineering. It bothered me as I read the book how easily people were willing to let go of their rights. It’s a very thoughtful book for these political times, and the message is clear, THINK FOR YOURSELF.


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