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Lovelock by Orson Scott Card


by Orson Scott Card, Kathryn H. Kidd

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mayflower Trilogy (1)

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6411122,904 (3.34)6



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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I've never liked this book, but its ideas have stuck with me. Those slid into a place like a magnet. That's the best way I can think of to describe how references to side characters that didn't feel like a big deal while reading have stuck around for roughly ten years.

So has Lovelock's descriptions of humans. What burns the most in the scathing narration is its high accuracy. I haven't looked at people the same since reading the book in my teens.

Note: The second and third books of the Msyflower Trilogy weren't published. Lovelock is a single. ( )
  aspirit | May 10, 2019 |

I must read and re-read it:
Lovelock is a book that I read many years ago, in its hardback version, and these last weeks, I’ve re-read it, in its eBook version (I lost the printed book during a move).
I had felt a lot of pleasure reading it in the past, but during my last read, this pleasure was really exacerbated! Is it because, reaching an age of half a century, I’ve read it with a more experienced, mature mind? One thing is sure for me: the author wrote a text with a great depth, about the main character of the novel.

Not an ordinary protagonist:
And really, what a character…
A capuchin monkey flying toward the stars!
Well, not an ordinary male capuchin monkey, no… an “enhanced” one, genetically engineered by humans of the future. He is intelligent, efficient… but all these improvements have not been made to give to this capuchin monkey called Lovelock any personal advantage.
Lovelock is what is called a Witness, an animal which must follow a human being everywhere, in the case of the story a female celebrated Scientist, Carole Jeanne. But in fact, Lovelock is more a slave, a possession, like a personal toaster. His goal, for which he has been conditioned, is to please the Gaialogist (a Scientist seeing the ecology of a planet as a unique living being), and to notably record her life. That’s why micro cameras have been inserted behind the retinas of the monkey, recording her life in a memory bank, and the transfer of the data accumulated on external memories and TV screens, via a computer cable extending out of Lovelock’s head.
In this far future ear, it is customary for humans to have their witness with them, and when Carole Jeanne decides to help terraform a far distant planet, she is part of the interstellar journey going there, with her witness, her husband, their children, and her stepfather and stepmother.

Watching ourselves another way:
What is most interesting is that we discover the story through the personal and secret diary of Lovelock. This way of narrating the story using the first person instead of the third, and especially through the observations of an animal, is original, and very profound.

Like a nod to an old text of French literature:
His analysis of our human society, his observations and remarks, have a special connotation for me, a French reader and writer. I have a double French and English-American culture, and the text remembers me vaguely about, in my French part, a story written and published by Montesquieu in 1721, “Les Lettres Persanes”, “The Persian letters”. In it, two Persian noblemen travel through the France of the 18th century, and watch it through their foreign eyes and culture.
This more than an animal, which has been given by humans a higher consciousness, nevertheless judges us, humans, and our society. It’s interesting too, here, to see how its view of us through the filter of its mind can tell us many things about ourselves.

A fight for freedom:
The capuchin monkey gets progressively aware of his slave’s condition, and progressively fights against all his conditionings. He will work for his freedom aboard the interstellar Ark which is preparing for its fantastic journey, preparing his own future.

A change of perspective
I encourage everyone to read this memorable novel… after having read it, you will no more see your life and the world the same way!
Humanly, a rewarding experience…

Post scriptum:
This story was previewed to be the first book of the Mayflower trilogy, but the second and, foremost, the third one, were never written!
I loved so much Lovelock that, for me, it’s kind of dramatic…
Please, Mister Card, write the two next books, complete the trilogy!

Post scriptum 2 : Kathryn H. Kidd cowrote the book with him, sorry it I forgot that. ( )
  LHTide | Jun 4, 2016 |
The story did not interest me at all.
  librisissimo | May 28, 2016 |
Reminded me a lot of Card's later Ender books. Although the action takes place in an exotic setting (on a colony ship, just about to set off in search of a suitable planet) the action really has to do with small-town dramas. (leaving one's old life behind irrevocably is very traumatic to relationships, Card theorizes). Against this background, our protagonist, an "enhanced" monkey, gradually comes to a sense of self-awareness - and a desire for respect and equality.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Lovelock is an enhanced capucin monkey who acts as a recorder for Carol Jeanne, a gaiologist, who is embarking on a modern day ark. This story is about going to the spaceship ark and also Lovelock's growing self awareness and ability to assert same. ( )
  WinonaBaines | Dec 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Card, Orson Scottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kidd, Kathryn H.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To our good friends the Childs,
Dennis, who has the right tool for suitors and sheep,
Carla, with a soft shoulder and a warm heart,
and Derek▬welcome home.
First words
If I had known what Mayflower held for me, I might have stayed in New Hampshire.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812518055, Mass Market Paperback)

On the Ark, a colony ship bound outward across the stars, not everyone is a volunteer-or even human. Lovelock is a capuchin monkey, engineered from conception to be the perfect servant: intelligent, agile, and devoted to his owner. He is a Witness, privileged to spend his days and nights recording the life of one of Earth's most brilliant scientists via digital devices implanted behind his eyes.

But Lovelock is something special among Witnesses. He's a smarter than most human's; smart enough to break through some of his conditioning. Smart enough to feel the bonds of slavery-and want freedom. Like "Speaker for the Dead" and "Xenocide," "Lovelock" probes the provocative interface between humanity and another sentient species, set against the awesome scope of interstellar space.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The transformation of a monkey from slave to rebel. He is Lovelock, a genetically enhanced animal serving as personal secretary to a famous woman planetologist on the colony spaceship, Mayflower. A look at animal rights from a futuristic perspective.

» see all 3 descriptions

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