Read Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch Free Online
Book Title: Camp Concentration|
The author of the book: Thomas M. Disch
Date of issue: April 27th 1999
ISBN 13: 9780375705458
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.42 MB
Read full description of the books Camp Concentration:Flowers for Algernon has become a minor classic, and, thanks to the movie, even people who haven't read it often know the story. Poor Charlie Gordon is given an operation which turns him from a mentally subnormal dishwasher into a genius, but the treatment turns out to be flawed. It's a great weepie, and I am one of many people who love it.
Camp Concentration is Algernon's evil twin. It's exploring the same basic theme, but I doubt it will ever be as well known. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a worse book - just that it's taking more risks, and not trying as hard to be accessible. Algernon is a tragedy; CC is a black comedy, and often a rather horrifying one. In Disch's version, the program is run by the military, who are not slow to see the possible advantages of being able to create geniuses to order from the most unpromising material. So what if it eventually kills them? We're at war, you know! (At the time, it was the Vietnam war). It turns out, however, that creating a few dozen instant geniuses, handing them all a death sentence, and locking them up together can lead to unexpected consequences.
One of most engaging things about the book is the way the story is narrated. As in Algernon, it's a diary; this time, the diary is being kept by Louis Sacchetti, a poet and conscientious objector who is assigned to the project with the brief of reporting on progress from a literary perspective. I love fictitious writers who are actually given a chance to show what they can do. Louis is not as impressive as John Shade in Pale Fire, who will no doubt keep the number one spot for a good while to come, but he's definitely keeping up with the pack, and I would say is at least as good as e.g. Randolph Ash in Possession. He's credible both as a character and as an author.
The book has flaws (difficult to discuss them without spoiling a fun plot), but all in all I found it deeper and more interesting than Algernon, and I have re-read it several times. Strongly recommended to anyone who in principle likes SF, but tends to be put off by the fact that the average SF author just can't write. Disch could, and it's odd that more people haven't come across him.
Read information about the authorPoet and cynic, Thomas M. Disch brought to the sf of the New Wave a camp sensibility and a sardonicism that too much sf had lacked. His sf novels include Camp Concentration, with its colony of prisoners mutated into super-intelligence by the bacteria that will in due course kill them horribly, and On Wings of Song, in which many of the brightest and best have left their bodies for what may be genuine, or entirely illusory, astral flight and his hero has to survive until his lover comes back to him; both are stunningly original books and both are among sf's more accomplishedly bitter-sweet works.
In recent years, Disch had turned to ironically moralized horror novels like The Businessman, The MD, The Priest and The Sub in which the nightmare of American suburbia is satirized through the terrible things that happen when the magical gives people the chance to do what they really really want. Perhaps Thomas M. Disch's best known work, though, is The Brave Little Toaster, a reworking of the Brothers Grimm's "Town Musicians of Bremen" featuring wornout domestic appliances -- what was written as a satire on sentimentality became a successful children's animated musical.
Thomas M. Disch committed suicide by gunshot on July 4, 2008.
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