succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, May 04, 2007

Book in Progress: Mr. Adam, by Pat Frank. It's not as good as his second, Alas, Babylon, but it's interesting in its similarities to Children of Men. Miriam's monologue in the movie (haven't read the book) about noticing no appointments for the next six months, and then calling around to her midwife friends and hearing the same thing, is awfully close to the opening of Frank's book:

"You don't mean," I suggested, "that people have quit having babies?"
"All I know for certain," said Thompson, "is that people have quit making reservations to have their babies at Polyclinic Hospital, as of June 22."
I looked at the ledger. There were twenty names, addresses, telephone numbers, names of attending physicians, and amounts deposited listed for every day in May, and every day in June, until June 22. Then, as he said, nothing at all.
"For the twenty-second," she said, "we don't have a single reservation. As a matter of fact, we don't have any at all beyond June 21." The redhead frowned. "That is peculiar," she said. "That is very peculiar. Funny I didn't notice it before."
I went to the AP office and called five other hospitals.
"No babies. No babies after June 21."

It's not so exact as to be plagiarism per se, but it does seem close enough that some credit should be given. Mr. Adam is currently out of print, but was originally published in 1946. Children of Men (the book) was written in 1992. I may not have the best googling skills ever, but I have yet to find anything anywhere that links the two. Seems odd.

Books Purchased (thanks mostly to a Borders gift certificate from my puppy-owner friends):

The Demon in the Freezer, Richard Preston - the true story of the eradication of smallpox, and what's happened to the existing samples of smallpox.

It Can't Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis - originally published in 1935, warns of how fragile democracy is and how easily fascism could take hold (and origin of one of my favorite quotes - "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.").

Emergency Sex (and other desperate measures), Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait, and Andrew Thomson - true story/memoir of a legal expert, social worker, and doctor on a decade of UN peacekeeping missions. Recommended, oddly enough, by a prof.

Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone, Teresa Rodriguez Williamson - it's a little too girly for me (lots of bits about where and how to pick up men) but was mentioned in Ms. and actually seems to include quite a bit of other useful information - cities that are generally women-friendly and safe, restaurants and cafes where it's good/fun to eat alone, transportation advice, etc.


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