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Vox by Christina Dalcher X
Vox by Christina Dalcher
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  • Dorothy L. (Manalapan, NJ)
    Chilling Tale and Mesmerizing
    I loved the premise of this book and it definitely was a page turner. If I could I would give it a 4.5 rating. I would have preferred that the author had not given away the ending in the first sentence. I did think the first half of the book was better than the second half. I found some of the medical/techno jargon at the end too complicated and the ending felt rushed. I agree with some of the other readers who felt that it would have been good to spend more time on how this scenario came to pass, more background on the events leading up to the election of the President. But I am very glad I read Vox. It makes you think and want to be more active politically, especially in our current climate. In the novel, I would have liked to know how the press was silenced. Today we see freedom of the press in great jeopardy.
  • Nanette C. (Saraota, FL)
    For lovers of The Handmaid's Tale
    In Vox, Christina Dalcher imagines a world in which the US government has imposed a restriction limiting females (including small girls) to 100 words per day. They wear "bracelets" (pick your own color!) that monitor their outtake and receive electric shocks if they exceed the limit. Cameras have been installed in homes and in the outside world to prevent cheating through note writing or sign language. Needless to say, the work force is comprised totally of men. And education for girls is limited to developing the skills required to run a household. People who violate the new world order face even more draconian consequences.
    Our protagonist is Jean, a cognitive linguist in her former life. Jean is conscripted back into service when the President's brother has a brain injury affecting his ability to understand language. But the situation is more complicated than that.
    The book has its weaknesses. At times it seemed slightly derivative and the ending felt rushed. But for anyone who enjoys a dystopian read, this is a book not to miss. Dalcher vividly envisions what this world would be like. Vox also plugs into the #MeToo movement and the popularity of The Handmaid's Tale. Perhaps most importantly, it makes a point relevant to today.
    When Jean is told the situation isn't her fault, she thinks to herself, "But it is....My fault started two decades ago, the first time I didn't vote, the umpteen times I told Jackie I was too busy to go on one of her marches or make posters or call my congressmen."
    And, ultimately, that's my takeaway from Vox. We are all responsible for the world in which we live.
  • Susan S. (Lafayette, CA)
    MIsogyny run amok
    This book takes place in a current, recognizable United States, except that women are banned by law from working or speaking more than 100 words per day, with the ultimate goal of turning them into virtually silent Stepford wives. They also cannot use the internet or even access the mail that comes to the house. Homosexuality is also illegal. The fact that it is basically set in the present day makes it feel more chilling and less removed from reality. in the book, the new laws are based on interpretations of Biblical precepts, and are not very different from the actual desires of certain segments of our society.

    I found the book hard to put down (it is a page turner) and also hard to keep reading (because it is scary). It felt very timely.

    (I had a small quibble with it in that enforcing the 100-word limit required fitting all women with an electronic cuff, and it would have been logistically, physically impossible to do this on 150 million women in the time frame implied in the book, and there were other logistical issues that also would have taken much longer to work out.)
  • Vicky R. (Roswell, GA)
    Vox - interesting read
    Everyone will compare this story to The Handmaid's Tale and I am no exception. While I enjoyed the story, I found myself flipping through the last 20 pages to get to the end. This was a great story in there somewhere, and I was somewhat captivated by the first half of the book, but felt it beginning to wane toward the last third. I did think the idea of 100 words per day (and the punishment for over speaking) very creative and unsettling...this author is just getting her feet wet and I am anxious to read her next book.
  • Judi R. (Jericho, NY)
    I received an ARC for an honest review of this novel. I don't usually prefer dystopic novels but I found this topic intriguing. What if I, as a female, was limited to only 100 words a day. First I needed to allow my mind to accept the possibility that in the not too distant future, the government of the United States would accept an administration that wanted to revert back to a time when women had no role in business, education or rearing children. I also had to believe that men in this society would prefer these changes. This means no voice, no books, no technology. But what if the president now needs your help? Even being female would allow you to work the system. The one thing I have to say for this novel is, I couldn't put it down. I never knew where the author was going to end up. Many questions are raised. Among them, How far would you go to protect your family? Who can you trust? This book is intriguing, scary, timely, and layered. Could it happen. I hope not. History proves anything is possible.
  • Karen B (KY)
    One word: Disappointed
    Vox by Christina Dalcher poses the question, "If you had only one hundred words a day,what would you do to be heard? Promoted as a re-imagining of The Handmaid's Tale, I found the premise intriguing, but the execution disappointing. There is no doubt that the book was intended as Dalcher writes in "A note from the author," as "a cautionary tale, a warning call about gender politics and backlash and cultural shift." The heavy-handed writing left little room to doubt that. Lacking subtlety and nuance, both character and plot lacked believability.
  • Jenna
    I found this book strange to say the least.. not necessarily in a bad way. The book is a warning of what can happen in a society that discriminates and is prejudiced against the female gender. This is an important novel.. although, it just wasn't for me. On a positive note, the writing was very advanced for a debut novel.


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