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Gone by Michael Grant
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Gone (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Michael Grant

Series: Gone (1)

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2,4321532,541 (3.9)121
Member:mattlevin
Title:Gone
Authors:Michael Grant
Info:Katherine Tegen Books (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 576 pages
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Gone by Michael Grant (2009)

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The last dystopic fiction I read was Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven, which came right after I read Amanda Ripley's nonfiction The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes. Not even a week later, someone in the Feminist Theory group on LibraryThing linked to an essay about dystopias envisioned by men versus women. This confluence of factors made me think I didn't want to read many more end of the world tales written by men.

This is the essay: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/books/review/its-the-end-of-the-world-as-she-k...

I normally don't put much stock in ideas about "women write X and men write Y." I think trends in books' publication and reception are much more gender-related than the plotlines people choose. But this essay really spoke to me. As Sloane Crosley explains,

"Shelley, Mandel and van den Berg aren’t in denial of the brutalities of a lawless world. Nor are they more nostalgic than their male counterparts. After all, the unnamed man in “The Road” is plenty moved when he comes across relics of civilization, and Taylor Antrim’s new novel, “Immunity,” weaves disease and depravity into social satire. But it seems as if these women are familiar with Margaret Atwood’s observation that what women fear most from men is murder and what men fear most from women is humiliation. These writers don’t need to destroy the world in order to imagine what it might be like to feel unsafe in it. The threat of violence is not something that’s new to them, and thus they’re less likely to fixate on it in narrative form, opting instead for stories about psychological preservation. It’s hard not to think that women just might be better prepared for the end of the world.

"By presenting physical danger as a given and not the main event, these authors are free to move the spotlights elsewhere and create multilayered stories."

(The essay is worth reading in full, but this is the main point that I kept coming back to when I heard about new dystopic novels being published, and the point that kept me from adding them to my list of books to read.)

Gone falls into this category. Gone is like a cross between Stephen King’s Under the Dome and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. But the main thing I took away from it is exactly this. Men who want the world to be violent before the apocalypse – Orc and Caine – make the world violent afterward. To men who do not want the world to be violent, like Sam, this is the apocalypse. Violence is new to them. For the first time, a constant threat of violence pervades their lives, and that’s the plot of the story. How does a man live under constant threat of violence? How does a man live never knowing what powerful men are going to do next, what will set them off, what will make them lash out against you?

You could ask a woman. We already know.

This book could have been fascinating if it had really been about Caine’s politics. If we got to move past the specter of violence and instead grapple with how teens, natural rebels, react to another teen’s authoritarian regime, I would have been in. But we never get there. Instead we get magic powers and more violence and hierarchy based on the kids’ powers’ capacity to harm others. Which I get. If you develop a superpower that can kill people, you have power over them. But that isn’t interesting the way that another plotline would be about creating a makeshift government and dealing with that as a teen naturally predisposed to chafe against authority. Group power dynamics in the real world are more complex than brute force beats all. Shouldn’t they be more complex than that in the apocalypse? ( )
  sparemethecensor | Aug 29, 2015 |
Could barely put this down. It moved swiftly and intelligently toward a plausible (plausible for the basic premise of everyone over 14 disappearing and all those left with special powers) ending ( )
  Stembie3 | Jun 14, 2015 |
In this dystopic future, all of the adults (aged 16+) have disappeared. Children and teens are in charge and trouble ensues!

This reader was disappointed in the writing and character development (lack thereof).... got the jist of the story and stopped there. Quarantine: The Loners is a superior (although violent) alternative. ( )
1 vote mjspear | May 6, 2015 |
READ IN DUTCH

I'd heard a lot about this series, and it made me very curious. The blurb sounded fascinating. Leaving only kids in a city, it's a recipe for a good Dystopian novel (and a lot of trouble).



As soon as the FAYZ is created - the reasons why are mysterious - social movements start, and some people (although everyone over 15 has magically disappeared) start immediate to make sure they end up on top of it.

Besides, there is a complete lack of responsibility, definitely at the beginning. They forget something very important when they are feasting in the McDonald.


The fact that there are a lot of very young children now being not cared for and not fed. So, all this kids end up dead


For me, that was one of the cruellest parts of the book. Because even when they think about it eventually (after several days and it is already too late) they don't really feel responsible about it. When, strictly speaking, they were. And this is way before all the killings and everyone's starts dropping like flies.



This isn't a nice and calm read, this book will punch you in the face. Multiple times. It doesn't pretend that people will do good things or even what's best. It shows, like many other Dystopian novels, what happens to society as a certain part of it changes. And that's already before all the freak stuff happens. In this book, it doesn't play such an important part, but it will become more and more a fantasy/sci-fi over the next books.



Gone wasn't my favourite part in this series, it took some time for me to get into the story, but once I was, it didn't let me go and I couldn't put it down any more. I'm aware that from the description it really sounds like Stephen King's Under The Dome, but I like this series better. ( )
  Floratina | Jan 4, 2015 |
For me, this book started out stronger than it ended. The concept of a dystopian novel where all the adults-- ALL of them-- disappear instantly and with no explanation... well, it was too good to pass up.

Unfortunately-- and again, for ME-- by the end, the focus was less on the eventual dystopia and more on the superpowers that the kids had been evolving. This is less interesting to me; the stakes are less high when you start introducing healers, teleporters, etc.

I still gave it 4/5 stars, though. The writing is fantastic, and the author doles out just enough information at any time to keep you interested. I think that this book will be very, very engaging for just about any teen reader-- a beautiful balance of action, paranormal, romance, and anything else you might be hungry for.

Speaking of "hungry," can't wait to dig into the rest of the series! ( )
  redrabbit | Nov 25, 2014 |
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Wat doe je als alle volwassenen spoorloos verdwenen zijn?
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For Katherine, Jake, and Julia
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One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. The next minute he was gone.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061448788, Paperback)

In the blink of an eye.

Everyone disappears.

Gone.

Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.

The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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