Week 9: 虐殺器官 ☠🗡🫀 (Advanced Book Club)

Week 9

Start Date: April 6th
Previous Part: Week 8
Next Part: Week 10
Home Thread: 虐殺器官 :skull_and_crossbones::dagger::anatomical_heart:
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Week 9 April 6th end of Part 5 ch 3, p360 34

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I see we gave ourselves a cliffhanger for the end of this week’s reading (perhaps the first time in this book where I’ve put it down thinking “I kinda want to keep reading”…)

I’m not sure what the author has had in mind with the parts about these artificial muscles; maybe nothing beyond a cool idea they threw into the world they were building and to hit a “capitalism screwing over poor people” note?

I hope Williams isn’t dead – it would be a bit of a bummer if one of the few other characters we’ve been close to at all gets bumped off.

My guess at the “scandal” that’s been mentioned as the end result of this is the exposure of the person behind protecting and helping John Paul and of their motivation. Certainly I hope that John Paul himself has a believable reason for everything he’s been doing; I think I will feel rather let down if the author doesn’t manage to tie that up satisfyingly, because it’s about the only long running mystery in the book.

Yeah, this is definitely the week where I’ve most had to actively stop myself reading ahead. Overall I think this week’s section was fairly easy to get through.

I also agree with the worldbuilding stuff: I somewhat appreciate it, but it always feels somewhat forced: usually we’re told information about the world in a briefing room or it’s explained as a tangent. I do appreciate the world being fleshed out, but it would be better if details became apparent through the events of the story more than being info dumped. In previous chapters, the separation between action, background information and philosophical discussions has made things more of a slog compared to if they were more intertwined.

I am also definitely hoping for a good payoff to the John Paul stuff. I’d also say that the idea of him being a mastermind who can subliminally influence seemingly any group or country into committing genocide has felt rather far fetched to me in a way that somewhat impacts my investment in the story. I’m hoping more exposition of his backstory and motivation results in things feeling satisfying by the end.

The overall narrative structure has also been somewhat formulaic, at least for the final few parts, in terms of yet another missions to take out John Paul, and during the part in India he got away, but this time he doesn’t have his backer to help him. The events in Prague were good in that our protagonist developed a relationship with another character and also learned about the events in Sarajevo which motivated John Paul into action. But the events in India felt less pivotal, other than being a vehicle to philosophize on this idea of not feeling pain yet being aware of pain, and the conditioning the soldiers go through and how to bear the responsibility for their actions (taking responsibility for one’s crimes does seem to be one of the main themes of the book, however).

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