May 10th, 2012, 09:26 PM
Heritage, Not Hate
Spoiler-Free review of Peter Hamilton / Misspent Youth
Oh, man what a great read. Ok, I know it was first published in england in 2002 and from what I can gather from the acknowledgements is that it was published in the united state in 2008. That is such a log gap!
So the book is about a man who gets gene treatments that reduce his physical age from 80 something down to 20 something. But he keeps his memories. For any of you in the over 30 crowd you know how valuable those lessons are.
They can be very difficult - falling in love way too hard and later looking back and realizing that she just was NOT ever going to be the one. And regrets about some things you could have done but didn't and regrets about what you did do.
Then there's questions about what it would be LIKE to be that guy who gets a 2nd chance at youth.
Behind all of this is the backdrop of a cry for independence from the world's 2nd attempt at continental unification - the EU.
It was an absolutely magnificent read. Now I am waiting on Hamilton's Mindstar Rising to arrive by post.
This book is a definite must read for SF fans. =) Easily in the "Oh, man you have to read this" list.
May 11th, 2012, 05:06 AM
Thanks Dennis, I've just ordered that one from the library.
May 11th, 2012, 10:41 AM
having read most of Hamilton's books, I'd say this is his weakest as compared to other works I've read of his... some interesting ideas, but when it comes down to it ou just can't beat his sprawling space opera novels (I.e Commonwealth saga, Void trilogy, and Night's Dawn novels)
May 11th, 2012, 11:12 AM
Yeah, this is, by some considerable distance, Hamilton's weakest novel. It still has some interesting ideas, but the sex scenes were way over the top (even by his normal, HBO-friendly standards) and there was much less of either a gripping narrative or exploration of new technology than in his other books.
The American edition has had some fairly substantial revisions, or so I understand it. I believe most of the sex scenes were edited out, which might make it more interesting and less skeevy.
The follow-ups set centuries later in the same universe, starting with Pandora's Star, are vastly superior to Misspent Youth IMO.
May 11th, 2012, 03:14 PM
Heritage, Not Hate
I agree that this was definitely lower quality than his Nights Dawn Trilogy which I have read. Next, due to arrive Monday, is Mindstar Rising.
The 'sex' scenes were still largely 'HBO friendly' quality. I mean there were some lines about how pretty Annabelle was, but I wouldn't call them raunchy. They were (IMO) intended to set the decadent theme of the book. They did not cross the line into the 'romance novel' area by a long shot. Now... were they necessary? I don't think so. I think he could have edited them out and let it all happen off stage. Generally sex scenes in science fiction just don't work.
Its worth mentioning that I read the united state release of the book, not the original. He indicated in the forward that he did make some changes but that it was the same story.
May 19th, 2012, 09:18 PM
Well, I got the English version from the library and sorry, too sleazy for me. An old man panting over his son's girlfriend (not to mention all the other young girls) - no thanks - I found it quite unreadable. He obviously didn't have much "wisdom" as an old man to bring into his new "young" life. I skipped to the end just to see what happened.