January 27th, 2006, 11:39 PM #1
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- Jan 2006
Critique: Minority Report: Book Review
Minority Report: Minority Report
Author: Philip K. Dick
Great Britain 2002: Orion Books Ltd. 45pg.
Philip Dick’s ‘Minority Report’ is a short science fiction story targeted mostly at teenagers and young adults. The novel consists of several other short stories, all of which appeal to science-fiction readers. ‘Minority Report’ takes place in the distant future, where the police have invented the ‘Precrime’ system which helps to eliminate criminal injustice. However, the center character ‘Anderton’ finds himself is a difficult situation when he discovers he’s being framed for murder. Phillip Dick uses a lot of good narration and imagery techniques to build apprehensive scenes which keep readers engaged. Minority report is a short story, only having one purpose – to entertain teenage and young adult readers.
Prior to ‘Minority Report’ Philip Dick has had a lot of experience and expertise as an author. Philip has released close to thirty novels, and is renowned for his versatile repertoire of short novels, collected stories and more novels generally of the science fiction genre. Many movies have been produced from the stories proclaimed by Philip. These include: Blade runner (based on the novel Do androids dream on electric sheep), Total Recall (based on We can remember it for you wholesale), Minority Report (based on Minority Report) along with other’s such as the French film, Confessions d’un Barjo (adapted from the novel Confessions of a Crap Artist). Unfortunately, Philip passed away at the early age of 54.
The short novel begins in commissioner Anderton’s office, where he is discussing the possibility of his retirement and also we are introduced to the ‘Precrime’ justice system. From the beginning, it is evident that Anderton has no intention to leave. He states ‘I am under no compulsion to retire, I founded Precrime, and I can stay here as long as I want.’ - Clearly indicating his proud and controlling nature, along with his intelligence and superior demeanor. The police force utilizes precogs, mutant humans who have the ability of precognition, which are connected to a bank of computers which decode random syllables and predict future murders. The story takes a twist when Anderton discovers that he is actually predicted to commit a murder. The rest of the story is basically Anderton running from the Precrime unit and trying to find proof of his innocence. Whilst hiding in a hotel in New York City, Anderton discovers that the ‘minority report’ had been misplaced and therefore not analyzed the ‘majority report’. He confirms this saying ‘The report of the third precog, the minority report, was somehow of importance’. Later on we find ‘Jerry’s (a precog) vision was misphased. Because of the erratic nature f precognition, he was examining a time-area slightly different from that of his companions.’ And also ‘The preview of the murder had cancelled out the murder’. Using the minority report, Anderton eventually proves his innocence.
‘Minority report’ is short, fast paced and entertaining. Phillip K. Dick did a good job in keeping readers engaged with switch ups in his tone – setting tense scenes with firmer language after a subtle scene with laid back language. For instance, Phillip would use adjectives such as frantically, trembling and anxiously when he set’s suspenseful scene. However, I believe one of the flaws to the short story was the lack of in-depth character details. Because the story was generally focused on the fast paced story-line, there wasn’t any time where readers got to explore the personality attributes of Anderton or any other characters. The storyline was well constructed, and creative. Phillip should have continued to make Minority report longer – therefore building on character descriptions along with the storyline. The novel also concludes suddenly, leaving readers a bit puzzled. The concept of the precogs and the illusion created is clear, but readers would be lost wondering ‘where to next?’
Overall, Minority report is a good quick read which readers can read all the way through without stops. The few flaws could be simply straightened out if the novel was longer then just a short story. I believe Phillip used very good language techniques with metaphoric like quotable such as ‘through the swirls of misery and nausea’, good tone changes with appropriate adjectives and also some imagery techniques such as Frantically Anderton paced around the tiny room and many other more descriptive features.
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January 28th, 2006, 07:21 AM #2Philip Dick’s ‘Minority Report’ is a short science fiction story targeted mostly at teenagers and young adults.
Overall its an concise enough review for a mainstream audience, who are probably going to mostly be interested in his legacy of books-into-films.
Last edited by Ouroboros; January 28th, 2006 at 06:09 PM.
January 28th, 2006, 06:03 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
^^ thank you.. this book was given to me at school... year 12.. so i think it is for young aduts
January 28th, 2006, 06:14 PM #4
Kids at school are often exposed to writers like Shakespeare, Steinbeck etc. ... But just because they might be given 'The merchant of Venice' to read in class doesn't mean it was written with young adults in mind.
Last edited by Ouroboros; January 28th, 2006 at 06:17 PM.
January 28th, 2006, 08:58 PM #5Originally Posted by Ouroboros
It seems the opposite of something aimed at a young adult audience.