I am a friend of the author and part time book snob.
Before I picked this up, I was worried. I didn't want to have to tell my friend his book was crap. Within a few pages, I knew I had nothing to fear.
The near future he creates is equal parts unsettling and familiar. He deals with dark themes lightly. Throughout the story I flipped back and forth between daunted, desperate and amused. Most of all I sympathised with Sebastian. He is an authentic, compromised and confused young man failing to find peace of mind in a chaos of infinite information.
This is a frank and entertaining speculation on the serious and absurd consequences of the technologies we have adopted so hungrily in the last decade. I hope the next decade doesn't see us closer to the world of a rational man.
I'm relieved to be able to recommend it.
A Rational Man by J S Hollis is a wonderful blend of science fiction and dystopia, a tale with originality that features compelling characters involved in a powerful conflict against a disturbing futuristic backdrop. While Sebastian Stanhope plays chess in school, the world is watching as his father slaughters his mother. A man who wants to run for Prime Minister has just murdered his wife and the deed is watched by millions, thanks to omnipresent â€œW,â€ a technology that robs everyone of the right to privacy. But it is how the young Sebastian takes the news that will surprise readers.
The plot starts with explosive news. Thus begins a story that explores the power of social media of the individual and the challenges that people face when they want to find sanity in a world controlled by public opinion. The dystopian setting is wonderfully developed and readers are thrust into a world they hardly recognize but one that feels so real. A Rational Man might be set in the future and may deal with realities and events that arenâ€™t relevant to our time, but in the heart of the narrative is a prophetic message of a world we could be creating if we donâ€™t pay attention to our rationality. The characters are real and the social phenomena so beautifully developed that readers feel as though they are part of that world. J S Hollis creates a dystopian world and shows readers the dangers to which our social media tendencies can lead. A Rational Man is deft, balanced, and hugely exhilarating.
by Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite