Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review:: Polystom, by Adam Roberts

Title: Polystom
Author: Adam Roberts
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

I'm not really the type to feel sorry for an abuser, especially an abuser who's just a fucking shitty person in general. So when a book is clearly showing him in a sympathetic light, I'm going to be annoyed as fuck. On top of that, the science in it is just inconsistent and awful, which might be fine if it wasn't justified in the last 10% of the book.

To put it in a simpler way: I was literally allergic to this book and misplaced it three times. I think my subconscious really, really wanted me to stop reading it. Spoilers for the ending after the cut.

So, you know how "it was all a dream" is a shitty ending? You know what else is shitty? "It was all a virtual reality maybe we don't know maybe we're in the virtual reality."

Because that was the end.

But wait! You have to get through 270 pages of weirdly inconsistent bad science before it's even hinted at that this is all just a dream. Or maybe we're the dream.

But wait! You also have to get through a huge portion of the book where the protagonist abuses his wife to death, but it's so sad that she died and he misses her. No, I'm not kidding.

He's told he should marry to get over his father's death. Make him less lonely and all. So, he sees a girl from afar at a party where his aunt is trying to matchmake him with someone else, and falls in love with her. He meets her guardian who tries to tell him that she's kind of unmanageable. Always running away. Her mothers weren't able to contain her.

He meets her once and asks her to marry him. She said neither yes nor no, so he decides it's cool and runs with it. Because that's totally consent and all. Oh, he's also realized at this point that she's dissociative as fuck, but doesn't seem to connect it to the fact that her mothers and her guardian were abusing her. But then he can't control her (and he literally talks about how he's driven to possess her) and so he decides to lock her in a room.

Despite her having stated that's her greatest fear.

Oh, and as far as I can tell, there's no irony meant in the fact that he locked her in the Yellow Room. Needless to say, she doesn't respond well. She smashes her head in on a door and before she's better, runs away. And then dies.

His uncle asked him if he blames himself. And his response? "For what?" He fucking killed his wife and he's merely sad about her death. He can't realize that he's the one who fucking killed her.

And then we get like a billion more (sneezy) pages waxing on about how sad he is. His uncle dies and he isn't sad about that, so he joins the military because he's not sad.

But we should feel sorry for him.

I don't. One star. Fuck this book.


  1. Now I am wary of reading other Adam Roberts books I've got lying around. I don't even know how I acquired so many...

    1. Well, it's not like... you don't have plenty of better acquired books to read?

  2. I finished reading Adam Roberts' 'Land of the Headless' not that long ago, and really disliked that, too - I just can't get into his whiny protagonist style of writing, even if the background idea is intriguing!

    1. Oh, if it's more awful whiny protags I'm supposed sympathize with, I'm so done with Adam Roberts.