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Vox by Christina Dalcher X
Vox by Christina Dalcher
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  • Gail K. (Saratoga Springs, NY)
    After finishing Vox by Christina Dalcher I was left speechless, which is pretty ironic, considering it is a story entirely about language. This is a cautionary tale about a U. S. society in the near future in which women and girls are limited to one hundred words a day. It is horrifying, suspenseful and all too realistic. I loved it. This would be a great book club selection with plenty of fodder for discussion. I also recommend this timely novel to those who enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale, When She Woke and Red Clocks, but especially to those who think it couldn't happen here. Think again.
  • Lorri
    Complacency is complicity
    First instinct would be to compare Vox to Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale, because it mirrors similar themes: male dominated society comes back to power as a reactionary backlash to women's growing power, tamping women down by controlling what is vital to freedom--control over your body or control over your speech. I would also say that it has similarities to Sinclair Lewis' It Couldn't Happen Here because it mirrors its themes: the fragility of women's freedom, the fragility of democracy itself, how easy it is to believe that the world could ever spin backwards until it does. How just a few charismatic men can marshal enough support to change everything we take for granted. And think, I am already out of words. I would have already been brought down by electric shock, and I haven't said even half of what I could say, what I want to say. If you are a woman and can read this book without feeling edgy, then you might be part of the problem. In these harrowing times, complacency is akin to complicity.
  • Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)
    Really woke me up. Good on many levels: technothriller, love story, family tale, suspense . I couldn't put it down. Had to see what would happen next. I like author's writing style. Not many extra words (just like plot itself). I have spent much of my life studying linguistics, so that part called me. I could put myself in Jean's shoes about ignoring important things. The ending was a little predictable, but it turned out best for most of the characters. Whoops, I almost ran out of words. Only get 100.
  • Linda J. (Ballwin, MO)
    Choose Your Words Carefully
    If you could only speak 100 words a day, how would you decide when and where to use them?

    That is the all-too-realistic future where Christina Dalcher has set her debut novel, “Vox.” The election of a conservative president and his psychotic religious advisor causes all women to lose their jobs, “cleave unto their husbands,” and speak no more than 100 words a day. Women and girls are fitted with counters, or “bracelets,” which administer a paralyzing shock if the wearer goes over 100 words.

    Dr. Jean McClellan is a cognitive linguist who spent her college days immersed in getting her degree, rather than being politically active. Now, she is regretting that choice, and she fears for her six-year old daughter, Sonia, who is growing up where choosing your words carefully is a normal way of life.
    When the president’s brother suffers an accident that involves his brain, she is called upon to help by completing a treatment she had started before the “Pure Movement” came into office.
    By doing this, her counter will be removed for the time it takes for her to complete the treatment.
    McClellan agrees to help if she can have her original team on board, which includes her former lover, Lorenzo.

    How she decides to upend the status quo makes for an exciting read, even if the ending is a bit over-the-top, I thought. “Vox” reads like a thriller and kept me turning pages long after my normal “lights out” time. Each chapter ended like a cliff hanger.

    Dalcher has written a book that will, no doubt, draw comparisons with Margaret Atwood’s, “A Handmaid’s Tale,” the difference being is that the possibility seems more real in these times.
  • Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
    Vox - WOW!
    With shades of Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's tale lingering around the verbiage, Vox is an easier read than Atwood's tome. But many of the same themes are threaded throughout this book. With our current administration and Congress attempting to take away women's rights on a regular basis, this story is almost too close to being truth and it is frightening. All females are limited to 100 words a day and if they surpass this restriction they are jolted with an electronic charge. Even little babies are given these horrible torture bracelets. As we see Jean face these difficult constraints while trying to raise her family with her husband Patrick, it is hard to imagine how I would deal with a similar situation. Very pertinent to our country. May we all work to defeat such horrific injustices.
  • Cindy C. (Withee, WI)
    Could this be our future?
    I found the book interesting and couldn't wait to see how it would end. The story felt very real and believable to me as there have always been those in our country that others have wanted to silence, especially given the current climate in our nation. I also liked Jean as a narrator and to see her historical progression from someone so wrapped up in her work she didn't have time to deal with issues in the world around her to finding her "voice" as she thought about her daughter and unborn child. It is interesting that in the book it only seems to be happening in the US, not in other countries. I think this book might not be for everyone, but anyone who reads it should come away with a better understanding of how an idea can take over and change things without people even realizing initially what is happening.
  • Peggy H. (North East, PA)
    A Scary Future Vision
    When I started the book, I sniffed a bit and thought, "Hmmph, a twisted future takeoff on Handmaiden's Tale," because I wasn't buying into the premise. The further into the book I read, however, as the history and the background of the status of the country was revealed...I have to admit...I looked up at the news on TV, shook my head, and wondered if I should move to Canada now. It's a good thought provoking read!


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