enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Greg Swann, Mantrap

I read this book about 1-Mar-2006. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 0000. This note was last modified Wednesday, 01-Mar-2006 14:45:37 PST.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Oleg pointed me at this novel on the web. I started reading it, and found I had to skim it to the end in horrified fascination.

This seems to be pretty avowedly an objectivist teaching story; the multiple direct references to Ayn Rand make that pretty clear, as well as the rest of the content. As usual with this sort of thing, I find it kind of repellantly attractive. They have a few things right -- I don't go to the point of elevating self-interest to a religion, but I agree that it's the basis of all sane behavior, and not something to be sneered at. And I agree that all you can change is the future, and that all you can really control is yourself. On the other hand, the sick caricature of school and teachers that they have is so out of touch with reality that I can't even laugh at it. But I do agree that critical thinking is the key skill.

And I remember his neat arguments blatantly pruning off perfectly good alternatives a few times; but of course I can't remember the search terms to find the examples now. Oh well; good thing I'm not in the book review business, eh?

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David Dyer-Bennet