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Rachel Heng

Autor(a) de Suicide Club

5 Works 351 Membros 25 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Rachel Heng (author)

Obras por Rachel Heng

Suicide Club (2018) 226 exemplares
The Great Reclamation (2023) 120 exemplares
Morgondopp 2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum




FILBO | Apr 23, 2024 |
Despite the overly harsh and provocative title, almost fitting and reminiscent of a Chuck Palahniuk book, I really wanted to read this based on the speculative premise of the book: Certain cities in America now have advanced technologies for the human body that can have them living much longer than they previously could (or should -- 150+ years old). Technologies like DiamondSkin or SmartBlood, enhancing how a human body can withstand time. But what if an implanted heart keeps going a little too long? When does Wellness go too far and makes life not worth living, like a styrafoam cake at a birthday party? The "Suicide Club" of the title is the organization that helps those end a life when it has gone on too long, as a protest to the Lifers. There are two main characters here: Lea, a Lifer who is determined to get the chance to be immortal and does everything possible to think of her health and extend her life. And a woman from Sweden, Anja, who has an incapacitated mother, a former opera singer, who had many life saving technologies. Anja wonders how much of her real mother is still with her. I like the idea of the book, but I feel like the result doesn't gel together. Some things aren't explained. I wanted the book to go in other directions, but I can't fault a book for being what I didn't expect -- I didn't write it. I like that Lea is not a saint in her choices, ultimately ending fairly harshly. I think the title was underused anyway -- possibly should have been something different, along the lines of the immortal/wellness aspect. But now I'm sounding like an editor and I don't mean to nitpick something that has very obvious personal connections to the author! In the end, this story seems to me more about aging parents and care, but maybe that is just where I am at right now. I wish I had loved this more! More detail, more polishing, I would have.… (mais)
booklove2 | 18 outras críticas | Mar 31, 2024 |
Rachel Heng tells the story of Singapore in the mid-twentieth century, an amazing story of a tiny country changing from a rural colonial backwater to Asia's economic powerhouse in barely a generation. There's no doubt that Singapore's development in such a short period of time is impressive. But what has all this change and progress meant for the people who have had to make adjustments to their entire lives?

Ah Boon, the main character, is the son of a fisherman, born in a rural fishing village. His ability to "find" islands no one else can see, and the bounty that his village harvests from fishing these islands, earns him the chance to attend school. But his education is interrupted, first by the Japanese invasion that subjugates Singapore and kills his father, then by the demonstrations and protests of the Singaporean independence movement. Despite his love for Siok Mei, a girl from his village who becomes an enthusiastic revolutionary, Ah Boon cannot completely reject his connections to his family and his village. Instead, he takes a job with the Gah Men (government) in the hope of making life better for everyone. But he finds himself embroiled in conflicts between the traditional life and the promise of the bright future for his country.

The Great Reclamation, named for the Singapore government's project of creating more land for the island country by filling in the bay with sand, thus destroying the livelihood Ah Boon's village, is a perfect example of what so many people are facing today as their traditional ways of life are obliterated by economic development. Heng's beautiful descriptions of the natural world and village life really emphasize everything that the villagers are losing. She also has great sympathy for her characters and the difficult choices that they face. Nothing is black and white; all their decisions are haunted by the knowledge that they will affect so many others.

I was very glad that I found this book, as there's not a lot available on modern Singaporean history in the U.S. It probably helps to have a little knowledge of the general events of postwar Singapore. This is also a book that could have really used a glossary! But the story is compelling and the characters sympathetic enough to be worth reading even if you have to do a little bit of Googling.
… (mais)
sophroniaborgia | 3 outras críticas | Jan 15, 2024 |
A future dystopian world in which our obsession with health is taken to its extreme. The details are perfect. The clothes, food, skin, of future trans humans. Disturbing in the naturalness of description. Well written. A page turner. I devoured it and felt guilty for doing so based on this future world’s ethic.
BookyMaven | 18 outras críticas | Dec 6, 2023 |



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