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Individutopia: A Novel Set in a Neoliberal Dystopia
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Individutopia: A Novel Set in a Neoliberal Dystopia (Paperback)

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Fiction & PoetryCrime & ThrillersPolitical / legal thrillerFiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945Fiction & PoetryScience FictionHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & Beliefs Publisher: Joss Sheldon Publication Date: 23/08/2018 ISBN-13: 9781789263589  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Customer Reviews

Grave New World Where are we heading to? Joss Sheldon's new novel is a dystopia which takes place in 2084 . It is a foreboding to what globalization can result in ; and how the competition inflicted on us by the capitalist system , in which "the individual' is the most celebrated,and the virtual reality introduced by technology can destroy humanity. Disturbing,but thought provoking!

- 29/09/2018
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Right off the bat, I loved the narrative voice of this book. It felt like a lovely (onesided, perhaps) conversation between the narrator and myself, and that was an absolute joy. Humor is woven into the prose, clever but never heavy-handed. Renee's unending positivity speaks to a deep despair, a thin veneer that fails often. The novel is heartbreaking and powerful, a subversive projection of our own dysfunction society, and the rational end point of greed. Still, Renee's positivity must have rubbed off on me, because I come away from the novel feeling hopeful. By holding up a terrifying funhouse mirror to our own capitalist system, the cracks shine through.

- 05/09/2018
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Individutopia is a fantastic dystopian novel that poses several thought provoking questions. Joss Sheldon does a great job at creating a dystopian world that doesn't seem too far fetched. Society is a much talked about topic as far as its impact on our lives and actions, but what if it wasn't even a thing anymore? This novel explores that very notion through a narration by Renee Ann Blanca, who was raised by robots with very little human contact until she was old enough to fend for herself which seems completely crazy, but you'll be surprised at just how close today's society comes to the one in Individutopia. Reading this book, you'll be challenged to think about how society and individualism in a brand new way.

- 30/08/2018
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A cross between an ode to Aldous Huxley and an obeisance to Yevgeny Zamyatin, Joss Sheldon’s “Indiviutopia” is an intense exercise in dystopian fiction. Life in pods, isolated existence, artificial energy inducing foods and an irrational sense of exuberance all form the touchstones of this book. While the shades of Zamyatin are unmistakable, shadows of Huxley loom throughout the book, traversing the pages boldly. Set in the year 2084 (yes I know what you are thinking right now as did I when I first saw the year), the story has as its protagonist, Renee Ann Blanca. She resides (if that is the word) in a London that has undergone a virtual transmogrification the likes of which could not have been envisaged even by the most talented prophet or the wiliest of the crystal ball gazers. Seeped in the philosophies of Thatcherism, the very fabric of social contract has been rend asunder and the four uncompromising inevitabilities characterizing society take the form of privatization, competition (that has outlasted and outwitted co-operation), impersonal relationship and a tidal wave of mental illnesses. It is under these circumstances that Renee Ann Blanca finds herself in what was once one of the greatest capital cities on earth. Renee however is impervious to the perils and pitfalls that have plagued her city. Living in an isolated setting of her own (in a pod), she is saved from being the Siddhartha or Buddha of the modern world as her world is always viewed through rose tinted spectacles (literally so since she is always wearing “Plenses” which obviate her from sighting a single fellow human being). Inhaling anti-depressants from a vent in her pod (again Huxley looms large with his spectacularly potent mix of “Soma” that keeps the characters in “Brave New World” perennially happy and in capital cheer), Renee is in an induced state of perpetual ebullience. To embellish her cheer are her holograph “Avatars”, I-Original, I-Green, I-Special and I-Extra. Spurring their master on with narcissist words of encouragement and lending an atavistic boost to her psyche, these Avatars assist in Renee making the transition from being merely artificial to being transformed into the ephemeral. Constantly reminded of her debts, every passing second, courtesy a holographic screen flashing in front of her eyes, Renee is engaged in executing one monotonous task after another meaningless one just to gain adequate money to repay her debts. Since her debts are always stacked up and forever ahead of her meager savings, she is always playing catch up. A luxury to order virtual accessories and accoutrements exacerbates her situation. The exquisite irony surrounding the existence of Renee is illustrated in a chilling manner by Joss Sheldon when after a dab of a perfume that has the stench of rotten ham, Renee exults in a blissful manner about the worth of her perfume, being oblivious to the fact that her olfactory nerves are no longer capable of assimilating or distinguishing between wistful smells and wafting odours! However, a moment of sheer chance, reveals to Renee the exact predicament in which she finds herself. Will this Eureka moment enable her to unshackle herself from the manufactured utopia enslaving her? Or will she be resigned to her paradoxical fate which is at once delightful and at others dreaded? With “Individutopia”, Joss Sheldon brings to the fore a style of writing that is bold, bleak, instinctive and inspiring.

- 24/08/2018
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