Cover Image: The Damage Done

The Damage Done

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CW⚠️:racism, murder, domestic abuse, attempted rape, torture, homophobia, 

This one was absolutely insane. I loved how in depth the character descriptions were; including the build up of their lives and background. The concept was both amazing and terrifying to imagine happening. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this one and look forward to any other work done by this author!
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God, I was SO EXCITED to read this as the premise seemed super unique and overall pretty promising. I'm not disappointed in the plot itself, just the writing. At times it feels very dull and lackluster, making it hard for me to remain engaged throughout. It's not a BAD book, just very much not for me.
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Interesting premise, not that violence is eradicated, but that the ability to perpetrate it is removed, it's entirely possible for someone to consider violent acts, but impossible for them to carry them out.

Loved the idea of that, but this didn't explore it beyond the surface, the problem is that there are so many different perspectives to consider, so many characters, and while there is something interesting in all of them, we never get past day three with any of them.  It feels like there were so many things trying to get into the story, that we skimmed over all of them just so they had equal air time.

And then there's the flaw in the concept, it's still possible to do terrible things to people even if you can't hurt them with your own hands, you can still make them walk over broken glass, you can still harm yourself, and you can still arrange circumstance where a person can be killed, you just can't do it directly.

As an exercise in thought, this was superb, and I loved that there were so many different perspectives to look through, I wish that there was a deeper dive into the possibilities here, into the thoughts that so clearly drove the creation of this book.  What we have here is how it started, and how it ended, what would fascinate me is what happened between those two.

This would easily be a four, maybe even a five star if it had been one characters journey through the new landscape, and I'd be interested to read more of the same.
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I did not know what I was expecting from this book, but I thought I would give it a go anyway.  And honestly, it was perfect.  The concept was unique, and the delivery well done.  You could hear each voice individually, which is not something some writers can do when writing from different peoples perspective.  This is a must read, without a doubt.
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Very clever and thought provoking

"If you give someone a gun, expect them to shoot you."
-- from Malcolm's thesis

Imagine a world where violence is simply no longer possible. Where everytime you want to kick someone, you somehow end up gently nudging that person with your foot. Sounds great, yeah?

Well, not really. Because that's just suppressing the physical act of violence. But true violence - the wish to do someone harm - starts long before your physical body comes into play. It starts in your mind.

And it doesn't have to end with the body. There's an old saying about bricks and stones, but I think I can safely say that most of us disagree: words can hurt. They do, they have weight and meaning, and psychological violence is as real as it's physical counterpart. We might call it cruelty, but you know, a rose by any name ...

This is the world in The Damage Done. Suddenly, physical violence seems no longer possible. But this won't stop people from trying.

"The answer was that they would always be able to hurt each other."
-- about 7 % in

Michael Landweber thoroughly explores these possibilities. His cast includes people that are suddenly no longer on the receiving end of this violence, as well as people who would like to dish it out, but no longer can.

And while his band of protagonists seems to be a rag tag group of people, they all serve as a canvas for the reader - or rather: for different parts of the reader's mind. The part of us that is angry sometimes and wants to lash out. The part that lives in fear on being on the receiving end. The part that hates limits and tries to find creative ways around them.

As you explore more and more of this radically changed world, you also start to think more and more about the implications these ideas bring. And I'm pretty sure that's what Michael wants the reader to do: It's not just a tale for entertainment, it's food for thought.

"Lupus est homo homini"
-- Asinaria, by Titus Maccius Plautus

To paraphrase Plautus - you can muzzle the wolf, but you can't take the wolf from man. It will always be there.

The fates of the characters are interwoven in different ways, some more overt than others. I enjoyed piecing together the covert ones, some of them rather clever.

Apropos clever: This tale is a clever thought experiment. Would it be really unrestrictedly good if violence would no longer work? Would there be downsides to it as well? I'll leave the final decision to you.

"But they don't matter. Not to you. Not to me. You know what matters?
You matter. Who you are. Who you want to be."
-- sage advice, 79 % in


After all is said and done, I've just read a very clever novel that plays with a novel idea, turning it round and round, watching it from every side. It's exciting in it's own way.

Sadly, it's almost too clever. The constant changing perspectives made it hard for me to catch onto something, constantly breaking my immersion. I've experiences many tales, and while a lot of them are interwoven, I never got the feeling that I had now a firm grasp about THE story. The last page left me a little empty. I'm just missing some final piece - but a great read, thought provoking, 4 stars!
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Have you ever imagined what the world would be like without violence? Michael Landweber has given it a lot of thought. 
In this novel, violence is no longer possible. The rules for this require a suspension of belief. It’s basically just magic that defies physics and logic. We’re introduced to a diverse cast of characters as they navigate this new world. 
There’s Dab, a bullied middle schooler questioning his sexuality; Marcus, a young black teenager whose older brother is the last victim of violence; Ann, a social worker with an abusive, villainous husband. Richard, a professor whose early life is shaped by violence; Gabriela and Cristela, two sisters fleeing violence in El Salvador and attempting a dangerous migration into the United States; a North Korean writer called The Empty Shell who is waiting to be tortured in prison; and Julien, a white supremacist planning a mass killing. 
We also get vignettes from the perspective of the president, the pope, and others. There are so many characters that it’s hard to truly connect with all of them. In order to fit all of their stories, they all feel a bit rushed. 
I appreciated the author’s attempts to include all of these perspectives, but I didn’t find them all to be necessary. For example, there’s a brief chapter on two fishermen that doesn’t really connect to the rest of the book and didn’t really add anything to the story. 
The idea of a world where violence is impossible is an interesting concept and Landweber is skilled at imagining it, I just wish the book had been a little more focused.
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Michael Landweber is an author that I found on NetGalley. There is a twist in every novel and it's always shocking. I can't wait to read every single one of his books.
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The Damage Done was such a different read! 
Could you imagine a world without any violence? It was be nice wouldn't it?! 
This book explores that idea! And the idea is great. 
I enjoyed the thought of this story. And honestly it could have been great. 
Like mentioned above to me the writing felt dull at times. 
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Thank you Publisher and NetGalley for this advanced ebook copy! 

The Damage Done was such a different read! 
Could you imagine a world without any violence? It was be nice wouldn't it?! 
This book explores that idea! And the idea is great. 
I enjoyed the thought of this story. And honestly it could have been great. 
Like mentioned above to me the writing felt dull at times. 
I tried to enjoy this book. And wanted to very much so. 
Overall! This book just wasn't for me. 

Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this novel!
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Originally I didn’t finish this book however over the weekend I went back to it and finished it. The damage done follows 5 different people in a world without violence. It is told in 3rd person. I just love the premise of this book, a world where there is no violence sounds perfect. However it has its pitfalls as the novel develops, people don’t need violence to be cruel and dangerous. I have to be honest and say that this book did not work for me, the premise was great but the writing not so much. The novel was just average and there wasn’t anything interesting and truthfully it all got a little ridiculous especially one of the main characters names being Dab. Sadly it just didn’t work for me.
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