Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

Looking Back on “The Sheep Look Up” by John Brunner During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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I know we’re only halfway through 2020, however, with everything that’s been going on in the world lately, I found it hard not to look back on When the Sheep Look Up by John Brunner. I reviewed this realistic post-apocalyptic novel last year, and such aspects that have stuck with me are how everyone in the story is wearing gas masks, the water is polluted, and there is general unrest amongst the civilians.

With the fear of COVID-19 hanging heavy in the air, most people are sheltering in their homes and leaving the house only if they have to. I know gas masks and protective face masks aren’t the same, but I don’t think that matters in the grand scheme of things.

To make a seemingly tense and stressful situation worse, we are again reminded of the gross mishandling of police officers who have a record of valid complaints. If a police officer has a complaint filed, I think it should be investigated through an unbiased third party. No police officer should have excessive allegations that have been swept under the rug. Just because he has “connections” or is a “good ole boy” makes this unfair to the people they’re sworn to protect.

People are upset. With COVID-19 being the biggest pandemic since the Spanish Flu, and witnessing our own government’s and to a certain extent, our society’s lack of trust of the scientists made this more deadly than it needed to be. The economy and unemployment rates are the worst they’ve been, and we’re still witnesses to police brutality. Everyone is on edge. It’s the perfect deadly stew for public unrest.

We need justice, we need peace, and until then, stay safe and don’t do anything stupid. If you want to read my thoughts on The Sheep Look Up Click Here to read my review!

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner

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*No Spoilers*

An enduring classic, this book offers a dramatic and prophetic look at the potential consequences of the escalating destruction of Earth. In this nightmare society, air pollution is so bad that gas masks are commonplace. Infant mortality is up, and everyone seems to suffer from some form of ailment.

I had never heard of this novel until recently. I was surprised how this novel was originally published in 1973, and how much this book rings true in today’s world and tomorrow’s possible future. I was shocked.

There’s an ingrained distrust in our society of highly intellegent, highly trained, highly competent persons. One need only to look at the last presidential election for proof of that. – The Sheep Look Up- John Brunner

This novel was terrifying in a subtle way. This novel reminded me of the battle with the anti-vaxxers, the vegans, and others who are “different”. The Sheep Look Up also discusses the issues of racial tension and prejudice that seems to have to be prevalent in the news again.

This novel does suffer from one common problem with apocalyptic aspects, too many characters. I don’t like having to take notes while I’m reading a book if I wanted to that I’d go back to college [heavy sarcasm].

Even so, I felt this novel was an excellent discovery and a terrifying read. Everyone wearing gas masks, everyone catching all kinds of diseases just by trying to survive, and all of the animals going extinct.

 

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Here’s my Doctor Who reference for the month!

 

With the fear of bees going extinct, and the rhinos and elephants being killed for their ivory, it is mostly foretold in this novel. The discussion for environmental change is on every page. Even though there are those of us who are trying to slow down the destruction of the world, the rest can’t seem to break those old habits.

You can’t blame the people who can’t hear the warnings; you have to blame the ones who can, and who choose to ignore them. – The Sheep Look Up – John Brunner

I would highly recommend this classic novel to those who enjoy the underrated classics. I think this novel is also for those people who like dystopic and apocalyptic future of our current world and possible future. This book is a great read if you’re looking for an apocalyptic read, but don’t want the zombie kind.