Saturday, May 31, 2014

Review: Bald New World by Peter Tieryas Liu

Title: Bald New World
Author: Peter Tieryas Liu
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Perfect Edge Books
Publish Date: May 31, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From "What if everyone in the world lost their hair? 

Nick Guan and his friend Larry Chao are a pair of eccentric filmmakers who choose to explore the existential angst of their balding world through cinema. Larry is heir to one of the most lucrative wig companies in the world. Nick is a man who’s trying to make sense of the tatters of his American dream. Taking place throughout China and America, the pair set off on a series of misadventures involving North Korean spies, veterans of an African War, and digital cricket fighters. Their journey leads them to discover some of the darkest secrets behind wig-making and hair in a hairless world."

My Two Cents:

In "Bald New World," author Peter Tieryas imagines a world where one day everyone wakes up and loses their hair. I've been looking forward to reading this book after I read Liu's "Watering Heaven," which I really loved. This book is a full length novel rather than short stories as "Watering Heaven" was but all of the elements that I loved about "Watering Heaven" are present and accounted for. I love a good sci fi tale and this definitely fit the bill. Liu is definitely one to watch when it comes to sci fi and dystopian tales.

World building is always really important to me when it comes to sci fi and this book has it in spades. I really appreciated the way that Liu was able to "normalize" some of the strange things in this book. First off, the book opens with our main character, Nick, waking up and discovering that he has lost all of his hair and he realizes very quickly that he's not the only one. Super weird, right? But Liu is able to do some fancy writing footwork to make this feel completely understandable. There is a lot of good detail that made it very easy to picture what was happening in the book. It reminded me again of Murakami's writing, one of my favorite masters of the extraordinary, high praise to be sure!

There is a lot to like about this book! This book also gives you a good chance for some armchair traveling. A lot of the book takes place in Korea, which I loved reading about. I loved all of the little details that brought the futuristic setting to life. It was subtle but really vivid at the same time. I also liked the writing style as I did with "Watering Heaven." This book is not just about the strange new world that Nick finds himself living in.  There is also a great storyline about what Nick, himself, is going through in his personal life so this book has something more than just the sci fi/ dystopian angle! Overall, this is a great book if you're looking for sci fi with great detail!


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