Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Lionel Shriver's 'Mania'

"Reading is an act of submission."

-- Lionel Shriver, Mania, page 268. 

I have certainly submitted to the charms of Lionel Shriver. Our best living libertarian novelist has a new one out; let's see if Lionel Shriver can contrive to lose the Prometheus Award again. The new one is Mania, a dystopia in which libertarians have been reduced to a tiny underground of folks who dare not declare their ideas openly. 

In Shriver's novel, equality has been reduced to insisting that all idea of intelligence, merit and competence should be tossed out and no one should be allowed to pretend to being smarter or better than anyone else; "Mental Parity," as the movement is known, is billed as the last great civil rights crusade. But although Mania is "political," it can also be read as  a novel about getting along with people who have political opinions different from your own; there are also some good criticisms of libertarians, and people who have the "libertarian" mindset. 

I've now read three Shriver novels; I plan to read more. Wish me luck in trying to get an interview with Shriver.


chad said...

Great recommendation, thanks Tom. I don't know Shriver, but I don't read a ton of non-fiction.

Rarebit Fiend said...

You'd do a splendid interview if you can hook that fish.