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Vox

by Christina Dalcher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8687817,689 (3.61)39
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her. This is just the beginning. Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard. For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.… (more)
  1. 30
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (vwinsloe)
  2. 10
    Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin (2wonderY)
    2wonderY: Women's right have been removed. They develop a private language. This is a minor classic.
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» See also 39 mentions

English (76)  Piratical (1)  German (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
I couldn't get through this on paper, but Julia Whelan improved it enough for me to finish on audio. ( )
  KimMeyer | Sep 8, 2020 |
"Das Böse triumphiert allein dadurch, dass gute Menschen nichts unternehmen." (Seite 381)

Zunächst habe ich mich an Vox von Christina Dalcher nicht herangetraut. So sehr mich die Inhaltsangabe auch angesprochen hat, aber im Hinterkopf hatte ich immer noch die TV-Serie Der Report der Magd (nach dem gleichnamigen Roman von Margaret Atwood), die mir sehr zugesetzt hat. Dank der vielen positiven Stimmen habe ich mich dann doch ans das Buch gewagt und wurde nicht enttäuscht.

Vox ist ein intensives Leseerlebnis, bei dem ich mehr als einmal sehr wütend wurde. Bei der Beschreibung dieser Welt, in der Frauen ihre Stimme, ihre Arbeit, ihre Selbstbestimmung genommen wurde, ist es unmöglich, gleichgültig zu bleiben. Immer wieder gibt es zudem Rückblicke, in denen beschrieben wird, wie es dazu kommen konnte und es wird deutlich, dass diese Dystopie zu großen Teilen deshalb entsteht, weil "gute Menschen nichts unternehmen". Viele sind schlicht zu faul, um ihr Wahlrecht in Anspruch zu nehmen oder für ihr Recht auf die Straße zu gehen. Dies gibt zu denken, wäre es doch ein Leichtes, dass diese fiktive Geschichte zur bitteren Realität wird.

So weit ist Vox also ein erschütterndes Buch! Doch leider wird der gute Eindruck durch den actionlastigen Showdown etwas zerrüttet. Aus Spoiler-Gründen gehe ich nicht näher darauf ein, ich finde jedoch, dass das Buch so eine Thriller-/Actionfilm-Atmosphäre nicht gebraucht hätte. Vox wirkt auch ohne diese Elemente.

Fazit: Ein aufwühlendes Buch, das zum Nachdenken (und Umdenken?) anregt, mich aufgrund seines actionlastigen Endes aber nicht zu 100 % überzeugen konnte. ( )
  Gesa-Marie | Aug 25, 2020 |
In the near future women can only speak 100 words per day - would you be able to survive? An explosive debut novel! Looking forward to Dalcher's next book!

Thanks to NetGalley for an eARC copy. ( )
  Lisa_Francine | Aug 5, 2020 |
I am... conflicted with how I want to rate this. Vox is basically the epitome of "good concept, poor execution." 3 stars for the narratives it brings to the table and the haunting truth to a lot of it (especially with how awful it is seeing misogyny and facing misogyny from a male family member who you love and who you least expect it from), but most of all it's a 3 stars for what this book could have been. Don't get me started on the ridiculous ending. For a novel thats premise is about women who refuse to be silent, it would have been amazing to see the women saving the day. Like, in the end, after all of that, everything that happened, its a man who saves the day. It just felt... unsatisfying. The last sentence of the book is lovely, I just wish for Vox to have been... more than what it was. ( )
  angelgay | Jul 1, 2020 |
Damn it! My boss (number 2 at my agency) recommended this book to me. She was so excited when Amazon dropped it to $1.99 on Monday and ran over and told me so I could get it. I am so going to lie about enjoying this book because I am not dumb enough to tell her how I really feel about it. But I can tell you all. This book started off so strong and then just spiraled into mess. It didn't help that I ended up loathing the protagonist in this one and her constant justifications for shitty things she was doing.The writing got very choppy after a while and I the flow went from pretty okay to just terrible by the end of the book. I also realized I was more invested in secondary characters than I was in the main character.

"Vox" takes place in an unknown time in the United States. In this dystopian hellscape we have an American that has allowed the Christian evangelicals rise up and now their word is law. Stripping power away from women and girls, now women and girls are only allowed 100 words a day under penalty of being shocked if they exceed that amount. Women are no longer allowed to work and are instead supposed to stay home, cook for their family, and be a wonderful helpmate (I almost threw up). In this new America which has the rest of the world going, "I don't know her" to the United States we follow Dr. Jean McClellan. Jean used to be a medical researcher looking into curing aphasia and other neurological disorders. Now she's a stay at home mother who is frightened about what this new world not only means to her, but to her youngest daughter.

Jean is hard to like. I think the biggest issue I had with her is that she seems so clueless to the point of being almost labelled "Too Stupid to Live" at times. Case in point, she takes a very risky chance and steal away with someone. It made me think of Offred in "A Handmaid's Tale" but in that case it made sense to where the book was going and how she got away it. Jean's thing made zero sense and just came out of nowhere. We also have her flip flopping her positions too much. At first she realizes the opportunity she is given can allow her more freedom to speak and her daughter too. And yet she seems to still not really talk at all to her children or husband. It baffled me. I didn't know if it was just a reflex from her having the device on her or what. I was curious about why she didn't talk to her husband about what was obviously going on with their son. Jean mostly remembers her college friend who pointed out the destruction of women's rights in the U.S. and how frustrated with Jean she would be.

I can't say much about anyone else since they are not developed well enough. Jean's oldest son seems to be one way, but then totally shifts and neither Jean or her husband seem to talk to him at all. We have Jean remembering her friend in college and her ex-boyfriend and then having her talk to someone in the present. It was all jammed up after a while. I was fascinated by the mailman Del and his family though. I wanted to read more about them honestly. They seemed ten times more interesting than Del.

The writing starts off quite provocative I thought. The book jumping back to the "present" and to when the religious overtones started becoming more overt in the U.S. with new teachings at Jean's oldest son's school shows how insidious things like this can be, and what happens if you don't pay attention to things around you. After a while though things just don't work. We get reveals thrown at us. For example, we hear about how those who are not heterosexual are forced to convert through manual labor and not being allowed to speak at all. And it's like an aside almost. I don't know how to explain it, it just seems things like that should have been front and centered in the book, but are ignored due to Jean and her work in testing her serum. The flow though got really bad after Jean is given a choice to make and she takes it hoping to use that time to better her and her daughter's life.

To me this book's setting seems to be around 2040 or after. Based on discussions Jean has while in college, I assume she was a student around 2017 or so and then fast forward 20 plus years and I think you have the setting of this book to be around 2040. The idea of a United States slowly overrun by the religious right was definitely believable. It's 2019 now and we have way too many supposed Christian leaders in this country praying over Donald Trump and saying he is President because God willed it. Do I think that they can end up getting a foothold like this and shaping policy? Um yeah, cause they are slowly chipping away at women's rights and as many in the U.S. know many of these religious leaders and other Christians are doing what they can to help overturn Roe Versus Wade.

I don't know about the technology that was created to enforce women and girl's not being able to speak over 100 words though. I was curious about how it was tailored to the person? How do you ensure that other people's words don't pick it up. I started getting creeped out about what if you use up all your words and your husband decides he wants to have sex. Is a head shake enough? Do you have time to write out a yes or no? Things like that should have been delved in more I thought. Instead Dalcher seems too focused on Jean and her "cure" and I got bored reading about her and Lorenzo through 2/3 of this book.

The ending was a letdown to me. I thought that it didn't make a lot of sense and there was a lot of happenstance to have things work out the way they did. I liked more how "The Handmaid's Tale" and even "The Testaments" ended. You can't just put a genie back in the bottle after it's been released. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Subtlety is not a concern here, and the theme of “wake up!” is hammered home so vigorously that it can feel hectoring. “Not your fault,” a man says to Jean. “But it is,” she thinks. “My fault started two decades ago, the first time I didn’t vote … was too busy to go on [a march].” It’s of a piece with the preposterous setup, the payoff-heavy writing and the casual appropriation of some of humanity’s most heinous instruments of oppression – labour camps, electrified restraints – in the service of a thriller. If Dalcher wants to scare people into waking up, she would do better to send them back to the history books, rather than forward into an overblown, hastily imagined future.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dalcher, Christinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JuliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of Charlie Jones linguist, professor, friend.
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If anyone told me I could bring down the president, and the Pure Movement, and that incompetent little shit Morgan LeBron in a week’s time, I wouldn’t believe them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her. This is just the beginning. Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard. For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

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