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Oval: A Novel von Elvia Wilk
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Oval: A Novel (Original 2019; 2019. Auflage)

von Elvia Wilk (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
828267,832 (2.94)13
"In the near future, Berlin's real estate is being flipped in the name of "sustainability," only to make the city even more unaffordable; artists are employed by corporations as consultants; and the weather is acting strange. In search of affordable housing, young couple Anja and Louis move into a community on an artificial mountain, The Berg--yet another "eco-friendly" initiative run by a corporation called Finster. They're offered a home rent-free in exchange for keeping quiet about the seriously malfunctioning infrastructure of the experimental house. But when Louis returns home from his mother's funeral in America, Anja is convinced he has changed. He seems to be in denial of his grief and newly idealistic, consumed by a secret project at the NGO where he works as an artist-consultant. Anja is horrified when she discovers what Louis has invented: a pill called Oval that temporarily rewires the user's brain to be more generous. Louis is convinced that if he can introduce the drug into the Berlin club scene, he can finally remedy the income disparity that has made Berlin so unlivable. Oval is a fascinating portrait of the unbalanced relationships that shape our world, as well as a prescient warning of what the future may hold"--… (mehr)
Mitglied:Katie_Roscher
Titel:Oval: A Novel
Autoren:Elvia Wilk (Autor)
Info:Soft Skull Press (2019), 304 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
Tags:to-read

Werk-Informationen

Oval von Elvia Wilk (2019)

  1. 00
    Severance von Ling Ma (palindromes)
    palindromes: dystopia/near-future setting, female protagonist, contemporary issues
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Gurl you move to a mountain with a boy like Louis and you deserve to suffer a little until you buck up and discover the biological truth of the mountain!!! Are you a girlfriend or a SCIENTIST??? ( )
  et.carole | Jan 21, 2022 |
The subject seemed compelling, and with blurbs by Jeff VanderMeer and Tom McCarthy, the book seemed promising, but it was a disappointment. Wilk has some neat ideas, and she writes of things that reminded me of works by both VanderMeer and McCarthy that I admired, but ultimately, so much of the book was just dull recounting of dud relationships. It doesn't begin to be especially enjoyable until near the end, and then it stops. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Anja, a scientist from a privileged cosmopolitan background and her boyfriend Louis, an American who works for a ubiquitous non-profit are personified versions neo-liberalism in the futuristic novel Oval. Elvia Wilk describes a near-future Berlin in which the young couple agrees to live in an experimental eco-colony called the Berg. The Berg is a constructed mountain that has been placed on a former airfield by a company that is ostensibly dedicated to developing innovative and rigorously sustainable living solutions. In return for a home built of wholly organic and self-maintaining materials, residents must agree to follow stringent rules and be captured on continuous video. It becomes apparent that the company subsidizing the project, Finster Corp., is actually a shadowy bureaucracy with potentially sinister motives despite its claims. Life on the Berg is also rife with issues, as promises for improvements go unfulfilled, and the vacillating microclimates there create an environment that is “untenable” in the truest sense. Anya and Louis are also having troubles within their relationship, and Anya suspects that Louis has been deeply changed by the recent death of his mother. She also is disturbed by the mysterious way she and her lab partner (both under the employ of Finster) have been reassigned as ambiguous “consultants,” just when they were approaching a breakthrough. Louis’ work also seems to be taking a strange course as he becomes increasingly obsessed with a new drug he is helping to develop. Partying and drug experimentation are sanctioned and even encouraged in this Berlin of Wilk’s imagining. In fact, social connections are monetized and material success can be attained through a system of interpersonal bartering. Oval is a dystopic vision of “leftism” taken too far and a condemnation of political and commercial structures that seek to manipulate and pervert good intentions. Efforts to promote equality become mutated into selfish patronization and mindless philanthropy, serving to distract from the creeping expansion of a monopolizing entity. Wilk’s book is odd and difficult to navigate when it veers into Anya’s more philosophical musings. The second half also introduces science fiction elements that stretch credulity, particularly since the rest of the setting mirrors existing reality so closely. Still, the short novel contains are some interesting and timely topics portrayed in a unique manner that makes this indie release well worth a look.

Thanks to the author, Soft Skull Press for post-release copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. ( )
  jnmegan | Jul 11, 2020 |
A wonderful thought-provoking premise and follow through, but very forgettable characters and a minimalist plot. The novel is not excessively literary but chocked full of social philosophy. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Apr 30, 2020 |
In an alternate/near future Berlin, Anja lives in a malfunctioning eco house on a steep hill with her American boyfriend, Lewis. It's a world where corporations control everything and artists are contracted to companies, their work and even their bodies part of the corporate machine. The weather has gone haywire, with vast fluctuations taking place within single days. Anja works as a scientist until she's promoted into a consultant role, while her boyfriend grows distant as he works on a new idea.

Wilk is more concerned with discussing the philosophical implications of the world of this novel than it is in world-building or character development. It wasn't a bad book, but it also wasn't a terribly interesting one. There are a lot of novels out there exploring possible futures and I would suggest choosing one of them instead of this one. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Mar 3, 2020 |
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"In the near future, Berlin's real estate is being flipped in the name of "sustainability," only to make the city even more unaffordable; artists are employed by corporations as consultants; and the weather is acting strange. In search of affordable housing, young couple Anja and Louis move into a community on an artificial mountain, The Berg--yet another "eco-friendly" initiative run by a corporation called Finster. They're offered a home rent-free in exchange for keeping quiet about the seriously malfunctioning infrastructure of the experimental house. But when Louis returns home from his mother's funeral in America, Anja is convinced he has changed. He seems to be in denial of his grief and newly idealistic, consumed by a secret project at the NGO where he works as an artist-consultant. Anja is horrified when she discovers what Louis has invented: a pill called Oval that temporarily rewires the user's brain to be more generous. Louis is convinced that if he can introduce the drug into the Berlin club scene, he can finally remedy the income disparity that has made Berlin so unlivable. Oval is a fascinating portrait of the unbalanced relationships that shape our world, as well as a prescient warning of what the future may hold"--

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