Red Clocks

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

For all of Stephen King's monsters that he has created over the years, there is nothing as frightening as an oppressive, futuristic society that has a decent likelihood of coming true. Margaret Atwood understood this when writing her brilliant The Handmaid's Tale. Leni Zumas is just one more author to capitalize on this fact in her novel, Red Clocks. Whereas Ms. Atwood was writing a novel that could potentially come true, Ms. Zumas' novel is one that all but grabs its plot from current headlines as the conservative right continues to demean women and seek to destroy our right to take ownership of what happens to our body and when. The fact that there is yet another strong...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

The recent political campaigns in the US (most spectacularly, the Presidential election of 2016) have sparked sales in many classic dystopian novels. One of my favorite books of all time is The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, a dystopian novel that has seen a surge in purchases since the election.

It doesn't hurt that Handmaid's Tale was also turned into a TV show on Hulu. Elizabeth Moss, the show's star, has been quoted over and over about the current relevance of the show.

Basically, we are READY for some depressing books about a terrible future, right? I've seen a few other dystopian/postapocalyptic books come out (like this, and this, and this), but Red...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
The second half was better than the first half - I didn't think the "biographer" and "mender" (etc) titles were particularly effective, to the point where it was difficult to get to know the characters early on. It was a good cautionary tale.
Was this review helpful?
The premise seemed promising and I was initially excited to read this. After several false starts I finally read enough to know that I do not want to read another feminist dystopia about the lack of reproductive rights. I read the Handmaids Tale and would like for authors to stop trying to rewrite it.
Was this review helpful?

With the renewed interest in The Handmaid's Tale because of the times in which we live, I expect we'll see an increasing number of novels that consider similar themes. Red Clocks will certainly get lumped in with any such group (Erdrich released a similar novel last year). One thing these books will have in common is that they'll be described as dystopian, and Red Clocks does fit that description. However, one significant difference from Atwood's classic and Erdrich's recent offering, is that Red Clocks often feels too real to adequately be labeled dystopian. Take for instance a law called the "every child deserves two" act that will end adoptions for...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
This is a very thought provoking story. The author's style of telling the story made it hard to put down.
Was this review helpful?
This could be a good book club book, but I am cautious about recommending to people looking for a Handmaid's Tale read-a-like or those looking for dystopian fiction in general. This is way more experimental than a typical dystopian fiction book.
Was this review helpful?
Initially I found this a difficult book to get into because of the writer's style, but I quickly became engrossed in the story of five woman dealing with feminist issues in this "futuristic" society where abortion is illegal and the Every Child Needs Two act will prevent singles from adopting babies. I loved how the characters' lives were interconnected and how the ending didn't tie everything up with a neat little bow--because life rarely ever does that either! Although the language was often coarse, I appreciated the raw and gritty tone of the author as things that make us uncomfortable often make us think deeply about our belief systems and prejudices!
Was this review helpful?
I was very excited about the premise for this book, it's certainly a very timely one. But I gave up about 25 percent in after finding it very disjoined — not just chapter to chapter as the narrators switch off but sometimes even paragraph to paragraph. Passages like the "elderly cheese" one also did nothing for me and often seemed pointlessly vulgar. It's about to come out so I assume it's about to be archived, or I might give it more time. But I've already been trying with it for a while (for me), and I just don't think it's something that's going to resonate with me.
Was this review helpful?
The premise or this novel is interesting and unfortunately not that all unlikely.  An amendment has been passed in which fetuses are declared citizens and abortion and IVF are illegal.  Following four women of differing age and situations, the story explores the ramifications of such laws. While I think the plot is ingenious, the characters felt vague and unlikable.  It also felt like passages were added in for shock value and really didn't have a purpose.  Overall, I liked the idea but not the overall execution but I do seem to be in the minority so maybe I just didn't get it.  I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I was interested in this one because of it's feminist themes and timeliness, but I honestly couldn't get past the first chapter. I found the writing difficult style to get into. Maybe if I just wasn't in the right frame of mind at the time to start reading it. Might try to pick up again another time.
Was this review helpful?
I tried more than once and just could not get into this book. The writing seemed a bit confuising and the storyline was very hard to follow.
Was this review helpful?

Described as dystopian, yet feeling very contemporary, a story of five women in America where suddenly abortion, in vitro fertilization, and adoption by single women are outlawed. The women’s stories are woven together giving a frightening look into a society where women lose control over their own bodies. The real grit here is in the women’s refusal to submit.

Zumas writes with gritty language and sometimes shocking word play. She is clearly not afraid of backlash, using coarse and often shocking language, to make her point. I love how brave she is.

Solid read but will be controversial due to subject matter and to those that prefer a more traditional writing style.

Thank you...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Zumas imagines a world very similar to our world, except for a new amendment, called the Personhood Amendment, has been passed. It grants embryos constitutional protection and makes abortion and in-vitro fertilization illegal. We see how this change effects the lives of 4 women in different stages of life, with different struggles. Paralleling these women’s stories is the story of a 19th century female arctic explorer and researcher who made remarkable discoveries for which she never received credit because, being a woman, she was never given a voice. This book is about women’s voices being silenced, but it is also about the ways women express their voices despite being silenced. I think of...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
Stopped at 8%.
Didn’t enjoy the first few chapters or feel caught up in the slow start. I didn’t really take to the writing style either. Not for me.

The idea was intriguing but I couldn’t make myself continue. Sorry!
Was this review helpful?
Ever since I read The Handmaid's Tale years ago I've been drawn to dystopian feminist novels. The recent political climate and the Hulu series of The Handmaid's Tale has lead to more novels in the genre. When I first saw Red Clocks was releasing I reached out to the publisher to get an advanced reading copy. Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed--I was depressed. The storyline wasn't dystopian, it was too realistic. I appreciated the attempt but this was a story of what's already happening.
Was this review helpful?
Zumas' descriptive writing and characterizations are great. I anticipate this will be a popular title in 2018 given current debates around reproductive rights. I found Eivor's sections to be a bit jarring at first, but by the end of the book, I thought her story was an appropriate fit.
Was this review helpful?

What is a woman for in a near future without reproductive freedom? What is her purpose? If you read Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" you'll imagine women are for child-bearing and sexual satisfaction and not much else. If you read Elgin's "Native Tongue" you'll add to that specific intellectual gifts and not much else.

Here, though, we are given a much more likely and much less extreme sort of dystopian (very near) future scenario: Abortion has been outlawed, single women are not allowed to use in vitro fertilization or adopt children. Every child needs two parents. These are not hideously shocking developments, just steps down a path that many...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
While this had an interesting premise and this would normally be the genre and type of story that I would like, I couldn't get into this at all. I really disliked the writing and the glibness of this. I'm sure this will  be a bit hit, but it was too satirical for me.
Was this review helpful?