Odd John: a Story Between Jest and Earnest

威廉·奥拉夫·斯特普尔顿 William Olaf Stapledon
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古怪的约翰(Odd John: a Story Between Jest and Earnest)简介:

Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) is believed to be the generational link between H. G. Wells (with whom he corresponded) and more recent British sci-fi authors as Arthur C. Clark (who recognizes Stapledon's influence on his "Childhood's End").

Born in England, spent his infancy at Port Said, absorbing the influence of the multicultural environment. He was a conscientious-objector but served as ambulance driver in WWI. In 1925 he was awarded with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and this is clearly perceptible in his novels.
He had a powerful imagination and humanistic, scientific and philosophical interests that he poured in his four major opus: "Last an First Men" (1930), "Odd John" (1935), "Star Maker" (1937) and "Sirius" (1944).

The present story follows the life and deeds of a Super Human. He is the product of an evolutionary jump and graced with super human intelligence.
This intelligence needs time to evolve and grow, so John maintain infant characteristic by a longer period than normal.
He is in permanent conflict with his surroundings, mastering them is a hard task. In order to receive help he recruits/enthralls a family's friend, who is the narrator in this novel.
John grows up and discovers he is not alone; there are other specimens of Homo Superior around the world. He sets out to search and recruit them for a unique project: establishing a Colony of his kind.

Stapledon use the different anecdotes to illustrate his cogitations about human kind, religion, politic, justice, ethic and more, many more transcendental subjects.

It is thought provoking book, not what you'll expect from an ordinary sci-fi novel, not easy to read either but nevertheless a gripping story.

Reviewed by Max Yofre.


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  • 古怪的约翰 Odd John: a Story Between Jest and Earnest