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Black Sheep Review

A review for Black Sheep:

Set in a dystopian future, Black Sheep chronicles the downfall of narrator Isao Dazai, who is "convicted of being Japanese" in Asian-Sydney. Multiculturialism is now considered a disease for which the only cure is ruthless segregation. We're in Orwellian territory here, with routine surveillance of citizens by cameras, microphones, and powerful masked Segregators, and a history and culture that's tailored to your ethnic origin, which in turn dictates where you can live.


Peek's writing is tolerable but not stellar, and is plagued by repeated homophone errors--"too" for "to" being perhaps the most egregious. The future world is well imagined, if implausible--who watches all the footage? listens to all the tapes?--and there's excellent irony here and there, but the plot relies on at least one far-fetched coincidence and the characterisations are not strong. Isao's character in particular can't carry the narrative.

If you're a fan of dystopias, you'll probably want to add this to your collection; otherwise, it's a suitable read for a train journey or rainy night.


(The review does have spoilers, though not much, since it's not that big a review. It's a lukewarm one, yeah, but that happens. I guess we can say it didn't work for her.)


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Aug. 3rd, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
"The editor/copyeditor (if there was one) made mistakes which I'll blame on the author."
Yup. Hm.

But anyway, I know that's not the jist of the review. I think in this particular case I may leave off reading reviews and read the book myself instead :) But I'm afraid I've got a coupla other things to read first...
Aug. 3rd, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
ah, you know how it is. the author wears all the complaints with this stuff. fair enough, i suppose. it's my name on the cover.

anyhow, you're probably right that you should just avoid reviews until you read it. that's always the better choice, anyway. i have a feeling this book is either going to work for reveiwers, or not, maybe moreso than 26lies (which was never really touched by 'reviewers', oddly, outside australia). this reviewer didn't gell with the book, and that's fine. i got no beef with it. it happens.
Aug. 3rd, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC)
Well, the author can always assert that those errors weren't his.

But, unless the author is also the editor, it's the editor's responsibility to fix 'em.

---factory farmer
Aug. 3rd, 2007 08:04 am (UTC)
It's all publicity I guess!

Aug. 3rd, 2007 10:39 am (UTC)
Ah, the Paris Hilton approach...
Aug. 3rd, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
>otherwise, it's a suitable read for a train journey or rainy night.

That? Makes it sound just about perfect.
Aug. 4th, 2007 10:25 am (UTC)
(no subject) - brendanconnell.wordpress.com - Aug. 3rd, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 4th, 2007 10:26 am (UTC)
i'm not sure you can ever categorise stellar writing. in the case of this reviewer, you'd have to find out how she classified it, how it works in various novels, how it alters in different narration styles, and so on and so forth...
(no subject) - brendanconnell.wordpress.com - Aug. 4th, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
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