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Pastworld

by Ian Beck

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15711135,409 (3.33)4
In 2050, while visiting Pastworld, a Victorian London theme park, teenaged Caleb meets seventeen-year-old Eve, a Pastworld inhabitant who has no knowledge of the modern world, and both become pawns in a murderer's diabolical plan that reveals disturbing truths about the teenagers' origins.
  1. 10
    Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Running Out of Time is for a younger crowd (middle school or so), while Pastworld is more firmly rooted in the teen world, but both have a similar premise - a girl living in a tourist attraction without knowing it.
  2. 00
    The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: For those interested in different takes on Jack the Ripper. Pastworld is a thriller set in a dystopian future where London has been turned into a Victorian-era theme park - complete with an eerie serial killer. Name of the Star is a modern/paranormal take on a new set of Jack the Ripper murders as experienced by an American teen studying abroad in Whitechapel.… (more)
  3. 00
    The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist (gaskella)
    gaskella: For grown-ups - A racy yet great fun pseudo-Victorian melodrama.
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From School Library Journal

In 2050, civilization has become sterile, controlled, peaceful, and very, very boring. In an effort to capitalize on the ennui of the rich and famous, Buckland Corporation has created the ultimate vacation destination: Pastworld, a city modeled after 19th-century London where visitors also known as "gawkers" can immerse themselves in a Victorian world complete with grueling poverty, near-primitive medicine, lawlessness, and a casual disregard for human life. When 17-year-old Caleb Brown enters Pastworld with his father, one of the theme park's creators, he is unwittingly embroiled in a Scotland Yard investigation of a series of Jack the Ripper-style murders. Befriended by a young pickpocket and a beautiful girl with amnesia, he fights for his life and future in the dark underbelly of Pastworld. Readers who enjoyed Eleanor Updale's "Montmorency" series (Scholastic) will find this novel equally suspenseful and gripping. This spellbinding page-turner will keep readers on the edge of their seats.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
  MBacon | Nov 19, 2017 |
Pastworld è un romanzo che è stato classificato come "steamkpunk", in realtà non è assolutamente un libro steampunk ma, bensì, un normalissimo libro di fantascienza, anche se scritto e curato in ogni più piccoli particolare e aspetto.

E' un romanzo intrigante, scritto bene e dalla grafica allettante dato che è stato fornito di immagini e stili di formattazione diversi per ogni POV (point of view). La trama è il punto forte del libro, la sua assoluta originalità, che non mancherà di stupire e affascianare il lettore andando avanti nella lettura con colpi di scena niente male, è ciò che ci permette di gettarsi immediatamente e con grande speranze del mondo artificiale di Pastworld.

Il contrasto fra la Londra futura e passata è accattivante e stordisce il lettore, così come colpisce la morale e lo sdegno la consapevolezza dello stato di indigenza forzata in cui vivono i "burattini" di Pastworld, attirati in questo parco divertimenti a tema dalla fame e la disperazione, praticamente finendo di fatto dalla padella alla brace e intrappolati in un mondo del passato decisamente più difficile e brutale di quello esterno.

Il mondo di Pastworld è stato riprodotto e ripresentato ai visitatori paganti in ogni crudo e macabro aspetto della vecchia Londra vittoriana, perfino la legge ha fatto un passo indietro decivilizzandosi, così come la medicina.

In questo mondo incontriamo Eve, nata a Pastworld, e apparentemente l'unica a non rendersi conto di essere una semplice marionetta, o meglio, attrice sull'enorme palco scenico che è Pastworld. Ma cosa accadrà se un giorno dovesse scoprire che qualcuno la cerca, incessantemente e la vuole? E che suo padre le ha sempre mentito, anche se per ragioni di sicurezza? E perchè la sua memoria sembra fermarsi a pochi anni prima? Cosa ha dimenticato?

A tutti gli effetti questa "caccia" alla bella e dolce Eve, che coinvolge la polizia di Pastworld e del mondo esterno, entrambe impegnate nel ritrovamento e nella protezione della giovane fanciulla, è veramente intrigante. In alcuni tratti l'attenzione del lettore scema un po', rimanendo invischiata in rapporti di polizia, infodump, flash banck, cambi di POV e descrizioni ambientali un po' ripetitive ma, a tutti gli effetti, la trama in sè cattura e ci spinge a conoscere e scoprire come andrà a finire.

Purtroppo, però, tutti i lati negativi del romanzo si schiantano contro un limite particolarmente rilevante del romanzo: i personaggi.

I personaggi risultano interessanti, ai fini del loro ruolo nel quadro generale della caccia e delle cose, ma nel complessivo freddi, vuoti e piatti. Non ci colpiscono e non ci trasmettono nulla se non un fredda curiosità, forse più scentifica che altro. Non ci preoccupiamo per Eve, ci è quasi indifferente, e vista l'assoluta tragicità del suo destino, della sua stessa natura, questo è sconcertante.

Non ci interessa del giovane Caleb, anche se dovremmo trovare tristezza, paura, smarrimento e disperazione per la perdita nel padre e di se stesso nell'inospitale mondo di Pastwold, non essendo che un visitatore.

Non proviamo dispiacere per chi viene ucciso, picchiato, per chi si sacrifica per Eve... Insomma, il massimo di simpatia la suscita il manigoldo che finisce per provare pietà per il povero Caleb che, ragazzo come lui, finirà per aiutarlo e tirarlo fuori dei guai.

A tutti gli effetti, che ci sia una "e vissero felici e contenti" o no, non ci colpisce e non ci emoziona scoprire se e quali sentimenti provi o debba provare la giovane Eve. Tutto ci scivola addosso e questo rende insoddisfatti, come se stessimo leggendo una guida perfetta per un GDR, più che un romanzo.

Un'ottima idea sviluppata meglio ma definita male in uno dei suoi aspetti più importanti: i personaggi. Peccato. ( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
** spoiler alert ** In the beginning the book was really thrilling. The idea of a victorian theme park (like larp) in a futuristic world is really great and I haven't read something like that before. Ian Beck managed to write the story in a way that it never got boring, because the reader gets only a few information about the characters and how the main characters are sticked together.

My bad rating results from the female main character. At first she was really cute and I sympathized with her, but after she realiz...more In the beginning the book was really thrilling. The idea of a victorian theme park (like larp) in a futuristic world is really great and I haven't read something like that before. Ian Beck managed to write the story in a way that it never got boring, because the reader gets only a few information about the characters and how the main characters are sticked together.

My bad rating results from the female main character. At first she was really cute and I sympathized with her, but after she realized that Pastworld isn't the real world (she thought Pastworld would be a real town, her hometown) she became really annoying. She doesn't react as someone, who was just told that everything she ever believed in was only an illusion. (It was like: "Oh... it's only a themepark? Well okay! Whatever, let's go!)

Oh, and before I forget: She can lip read, she can see in the dark (it isn't a magic book or something like that, where darksight is normal), she is perfect in walking the wire (but she neeever knew; of course), she can run so fast normal people only see a dark shadow and she has the ability to slow down the time for herself. Of course every male main charakter (ecxept the old ones) loooves her, because she is so perfect and wonderful and her bright blue eyes are so unique. Oh and she loves everyone of them too, and she really wants to get killed by two of them ... yeah... oh .. and of couurse at the end she is pregnant and happy and everything is SO GREAT!

It was a fight to read the last pages really, i didn't expect that such a good beginning ends so horribly bad. ( )
  Knochenherz | Jun 7, 2013 |
A very unique read. While the basic plot itself wasn't unheard of, the world and the telling of the story were very unusual. The end seems a little anticlimactic, and other than the reeally bad punctuation it's actually quite a good book.
Full Review:
http://persyandarty.blogspot.com/2011/06/persy-pastworld-by-ian-beck.html ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Aug 15, 2011 |
I feel bad that it took me so long to read this one. It was picked out for me as part of the January 'Buddy Books' challenge and I was super excited to read it. The idea was so cool- I mean turning London into a Victorian era theme park?? And there's a creepy murderer on the loose?? That's awesome!! Unfortunately, the idea was better as just that: an idea. I started reading Pastworld and thought that it was just a little slow to get rolling. So I kept reading. And kept reading. And then read Matched. And then read a little more Pastworld...then read Vampire Academy...and then a little more Pastworld. You get the point. I just could NOT get into the book. It seemed like there was a ton of dead story that was trying to weave together a couple different plot lines, but it just feel totally flat. I forced my self to keep the faith and wait for Beck to finally get to the point, and he finally did on page 282. If you are reading this and have a deep burning urge to read Pastworld, then skip the next few lines because I'm about to spoil the whole book for you. The Fantom is essentially a genetically engineered Jack the Ripper (named Adam) and Eve is a genetically engineered 'perfect victim' created for him to hunt down and kill over and over again as the ultimate Pastworld spectacle.

The part that drives me CRAZY is that this book could have really been spectacular if Beck had lead with the whole Jack the Ripper thing and built the story out from there. As the reader, it would have been much more interesting to know that this Jack the Ripper incarnate was out after a girl who was totally clueless. But that's just my opinion.

I wasn't a huge fan of the author's writing either. It seemed choppy and read almost like a machine gun fire of words: 'He walked into the room. Then he saw her in the corner. She was looking at him.' The most interesting quote in the whole book came from Buckland, and he was only present for 20ish pages in the whole book. "I fear the forces of reaction are biting at our heels."

Overall, I found Pastworld to be a total snooze. It's pretty bad when it takes me 3+ weeks to make my way through a book...especially when I manage to read 4 others in the same amount of time. ( )
  JCShoffitt | Mar 20, 2011 |
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In presenting this story I would not wish to take any knowledge for granted on behalf of the reader.
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In 2050, while visiting Pastworld, a Victorian London theme park, teenaged Caleb meets seventeen-year-old Eve, a Pastworld inhabitant who has no knowledge of the modern world, and both become pawns in a murderer's diabolical plan that reveals disturbing truths about the teenagers' origins.

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Pastworld. A city within a city. A city for excursions and outings. Pastworld is a theme park with a difference, where travellers can journey back in time for a brush with an authentic Victorian past. But what if the Jack the Ripper figure stopped play-acting and really started killing people? For Caleb, a tourist from the present day, his visit goes terribly wrong when his father is kidnapped and he finds himself accused of murder. Then Caleb meets Eve, a Pastworld inhabitant who has no idea the modern world exists. Both Caleb and Eve have roles to play in the murderer's diabolical plans - roles that reveal disturbing truths about their origins.
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