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Severance de Ling Ma
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Severance (original: 2018; edição: 2019)

de Ling Ma (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
9886015,493 (3.84)54
Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she's had her fill of uncertainty. She's content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend. So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies cease operations. The subways screech to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. Candace won't be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They're traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit. Should she escape from her rescuers? A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma's Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it's a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive.… (mais)
Membro:LeahMaciel
Título:Severance
Autores:Ling Ma (Autor)
Informação:Picador Paper (2019), Edition: Reprint, 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Lendo atualmente
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Detalhes da Obra

Severance de Ling Ma (2018)

  1. 40
    Station Eleven de Emily St. John Mandel (Tmyers526)
  2. 30
    My Year of Rest and Relaxation de Ottessa Moshfegh (jtoneill0)
    jtoneill0: Also about post-millennial New York, similar sardonic and detached tone, similar sense of ennui
  3. 10
    Zone One de Colson Whitehead (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Ma takes Whitehead's neoliberal zombie narrative further, making for a more satisfying read, but I'm not sure I'd have appreciated Ma's without Whitehead's.
  4. 10
    The Dreamers de Karen Thompson Walker (Usuário anônimo)
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» Veja também 54 menções

Inglês (57)  Piratês (1)  Espanhol (1)  Todos os idiomas (59)
Mostrando 1-5 de 59 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
After a couple of meh books, I was so happy to have come across a book that I absolutely loved! This one was so hard to put down; I wanted, no NEEDED to find out what happened next. I was transfixed by everything in this book-the plot, the characters, the flashbacks , the commentary on immigration, millennials in the workforce, one’s dedication to their employer, and the stark reality of foreign workers producing American goods. ⁣
We follow our protagonist Candace during the outbreak of a fever that sweeps the globe. Candace is in New York City at the time of the outbreak, and we are shown glimpses of her past, as well as her parent’s immigrating to America. It helped deepen the plot and strengthen Candace’s character. In between we find that Candace has joined a band of survivors who may have ulterior motives, and what the world looks like now that the majority of humans have disappeared. It reminded me of so many apocalyptic movies and books, but at the same time it strongly retained its originality. The author did a spectacular job of creating an engrossing atmosphere that I felt claustrophobia, fear, anger, and desperation along with Candace. ⁣
As with other well written dystopian novels I have read as of late, I would love to see this be adapted into a movie or tv show. I also look forward to Ms. Ma’s next book. ( )
  brookiexlicious | May 9, 2021 |
When do you know you are living in a dystopia? Is it when the wealthy hire private firefighters to protect their mansions from a wildfire that leaves thousands homeless? Is it when your city gives billions of dollars to the richest company in history but can't maintain working public transportation? How about when a website deploys an algorithm that so thoroughly melts the brains of its users that you end up with a backpage tabloid punchline with access to nuclear launch codes? You don't know exactly when, but it's gotta be in there somewhere.

You don't know, that is, unless you are one of the unlucky many who toil out of sight of the news cameras. Perhaps if you work in Shenzen, China, producing anything money can buy, you know.

It is this quality of indeterminacy that makes this novel so successful. Those of us in the consuming part of the world aren't going to be prepared for life after the whole machine of economic exchange collapses under it's own weight. Not just because we will lack the skills to survive in that world, though that is undoubtedly true (this is dramatized hilariously in the opening chapter, which could have been titled "The Things They Googled"). But we also won't be mentally prepared to accept anything other than civilization continuing as is, on the vaguely upward-pointing road that we imagine it to have been traveling along. It takes a lot to shake us out of our routines, our understanding of how the world works. This cognitive dissonance resulting from the slow-rolling collapse of society, akin to what Adam Curtis calls hypernormalisation, is expertly depicted in this book.

Candace Chen, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, who coordinates the manufacture of bibles, is a perfect vessel for this confusion. She watches the degeneration of society from up close--literally through her camera--but also with the widescreen perspective of someone keyed in to the economic realities that forced her parents to leave their life in China, and industrial manufacturing to go the other direction.

When a combination of climate disaster and biological epidemic turns the city into a ghost town, she is the last to leave. An orphan, she has no roots in New York, or anywhere. She moved there for the same reasons many do, because it's the Greatest City in the World, because your friends are moving there after college, because why not. What's so different about the latest in a series of changes and uprootings? She accepts a contract to continue working in the corporate office where she is employed, long after everyone else leaves. Why stop your routine?

Depictions of routines are everywhere in this book. The disease that becomes an epidemic, Shen Fever (named after Shenzen, where it is believed to have originated) causes those it infects to perform some version of their previous lives on loop over and over until they die from malnourishment or are killed. A family reenacts dinner over and over, a jawless retail employee folds clothes until her store is looted, an elderly woman watches sitcom reruns until the electricity goes. Candace's life before the epidemic is shown similarly. She is locked into a work routine: "I woke up, I went to work," is a refrain. Though this sort of obvious use of zombies to show the monotony of late capitalist work is completely rote by this point, in the novel the zombies serve an important purpose. In this novel the zombies, or "fevered" as they are called, represent an alternate path, one in which as society breaks down around us, we continue to go about our lives, blissfully uncomprehending of the doom that surrounds us.

It was fitting that I finished this novel on a New York City subway held between stations for 45 minutes. With the car stopped, the lights flickering, and advertisements to invest in bitcoin staring down at me, I couldn't be sure if what I was reading wasn't an eyewitness account of present day New York. Ling Ma's dystopia looks more and more credible as the liberal world order confronts fascism, climate change, and nuclear proliferation, and does so by further revving up industry, consigning an increasing proportion of the world to destitution, and sous vide-ing the planet in the process. When do you know you are living in a dystopia?

Edit: also there's a lot more going on in this book to recommend it. It is subtle and well written and funny and gripping and there are plotlines and elements that I don't get to in this review. It is really fantastic and please read it. Thank you. ( )
  trotta | Mar 4, 2021 |
Den var ju bra, men vad handlade den om egentligen? Jag vet inte,och jag tycker om att veta det när jag har läst en bok. ( )
  krupskaja | Feb 17, 2021 |
There were a lot of things this book did really well, and also a lot of things that had me rolling my eyes. Overall I enjoyed it and I was interested in seeing where it went—interested enough to check it out again after my library loan expired, I couldn’t renew it, and I had to go back to the end of the waiting list. But I’m only giving it three stars, even though I “enjoyed reading this book” and “would probably recommend it to others, if they’re into this kind of thing.”

First, the good: I really liked the storytelling. Ling Ma makes things like the process of corporate book manufacturing sound interesting and treats ordinary moments like something special, but she also knows when to pick up the pace and also bring in feelings of nostalgia, complicated love, frustration with The System, and so forth. It was just a really well-told bunch of stories.

Which brings me to the bad. I feel like Severance is made up of a bunch of incomplete short stories or even longer novels, most of them more interesting than the book as a whole. It tries to be so many things: immigrant Bildungsroman, psychological thriller, Voice Of The Millennial Generation ( ( )
  acardon | Feb 5, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this book! The flashback formula typically bothers me in books, but in this case, I think it's appropriate. I see that some complain about the ending, but I thought that it was also appropriate for the type of story being told. ( )
  ctanons | Jan 26, 2021 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Ling Maautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Corral, RodrigoDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kagan, AbbyDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
mikeinlondonArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wu, NancyNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she's had her fill of uncertainty. She's content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend. So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies cease operations. The subways screech to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. Candace won't be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They're traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit. Should she escape from her rescuers? A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma's Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it's a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive.

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