6 thoughts on “G Girl”

  1. I couldn’t fin­ish it. Was just too damn silly to me. John Nike? A plot to kill people who buy shoes?

    I love absurdity, but only when the absurd is jux­ta­posed against the ordin­ary. There is noth­ing ordin­ary in Jennifer Government. I felt like I was try­ing to appre­ci­ate absurdity in a world over­stuffed with it.

    I have a sim­il­ar prob­lem with Douglas Adams (blas­phemy, I know).

    What good is absurdity when every nuance of every sen­tence is absurd? There’s such a thing as self-restraint.

    Plus, Barry’s book seemed to avoid provid­ing any altern­at­ive to his excess­ive absurd­ist cap­it­al­ism. What’s his idea of a bet­ter world? I’m inclined to think Marxism, but he nev­er really gets to a point, does he?

    For all the jokes, too many holes and too many things left unsaid. A total farce of a story… but maybe that’s the point?

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Eric. I guess I viewed it as a com­edy first of all, and as a satire I think it can oper­ate in a uni­verse wheth­er silly stuff just hap­pens. Of course, I didn’t think that at the time; it just ‘worked’.

    You’re right, there’s noth­ing ordin­ary…

    A prob­lem with Douglas Adams? *splut­ter* 🙂

    True, Barry doesn’t really provide an altern­at­ive. Then again, I don’t think he has to for it to be a good work of fic­tion. Orwell’s 1984 doesn’t provide an altern­at­ive, but makes some good points. I think it was inter­est­ing to take the ideas to an extreme…though it wasn’t neces­sar­ily the ideas that made the book for me. I found it funny, shock­ing, occa­sion­ally pro­found and know­ingly idi­ot­ic. My kind of book!

  3. It’s just my per­son­al nit­pick. I like my absurd­ism stacked against real­ity for con­trast.

    An all-out absurdo-fest tends to water down the effect­ive­ness of absurd humor itself. It’s like laugh­ing hys­ter­ic­ally until you start to devel­op a head­ache and get really tired. At that point it’s not funny any­more.

    I think that type of ‘burn’ hap­pens a little quick­er on things that are ‘pure’ in their absurd­ism, and don’t have any ordinary/realism based coun­ter­weights or off­sets.

    That’s my the­ory on absurd­ism in meas­ured doses, any­way. 🙂

  4. I’m just bein’ a grump on the sub­ject. It wasn’t my cup O’ tea, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoy­ing it.

    1984 as a com­edy doesn’t really work for me. I’m more of a ser­i­ous dysto­pia kind of guy. So be it!

    I’d be curi­ous to read what oth­ers here think of it.

  5. I enjoyed this when it first came out a few years back, but it did feel dis­tinctly light­weight for the sub­ject mat­ter — still quite enjoy­able though. It does take some of the ideas from the clas­sic SF nov­el The Space Merchants though, which is a much more inter­est­ing read.

    JenGov was picked by one of our SF book group to do the oth­er year and pretty much split opin­ions between the love it, hate it camp and again, even among the love it camp there was a feel­ing it could have done with a bit more depth. But then it might not have been as much fun, so swings and round­abouts…

  6. Interesting point, Joe. I think the Space Merchants was men­tioned in the book, wasn’t it?

    As for depth…I see what you mean. For me, I thought the daugh­ter angle added a lot to Jennifer’s char­ac­ter, but it’s true that the back­ground of John Nike wasn’t explored at length. I guess it didn’t seem like a prob­lem to me at the time. And, in some ways, I didn’t think the book was aim­ing to be par­tic­u­larly deep — it was a car­toon­ish future with car­toon­ish char­ac­ters. But maybe I’m miss­ing some­thing!

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