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Hystopia
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
By the early 1970s, President John F. Kennedy has survived several assassination attempts and--martyred, heroic--is now in his third term. Twenty-two-year-old Eugene Allen returns home from his tour of duty in Vietnam and begins to write a war novel--a book echoing Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse-Five--about veterans who have their battlefield experiences "enfolded," wiped from their memories through drugs and therapy. In Eugene's fictive universe, veterans too damaged to be enfolded stalk the American heartland, reenacting atrocities on civilians and evading the Psych Corps, a federal agency dedicated to upholding the mental hygiene of the nation by any means necessary. This alternative America, in which a veteran tries to reimagine a damaged world, is the subject of Hystopia, the long-awaited first novel by David Means. The critic James Wood has written that Means's language "offers an exquisitely precise and sensuous register of an often crazy American reality." Means brings this talent to bear on the national trauma of the Vietnam era in a work that is outlandish, ruefully funny, and shockingly violent. Written in conversation with some of the greatest war narratives from the Iliad to the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," Hystopia is a unique and visionary novel.
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review
Yossarian
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Panpan

What a mess.

Note: Even if you frame your book with 20 pages of “Here is a manuscript found written by a crazy suicidal guy and is therefore a mess,” you do not get a pass if you write a book that‘s a mess that seems like it was written by a crazy suicidal guy.

Especially when the climax occurs off-screen.

bookwrm526 Ugh, I hate when the climax is off-screen!! 2y
DreesReads Agreed! I bailed on this one. 2y
JessFerg Crap. I really wanted to read this. Well, better spent on something good. 2y
Suet624 I like the cover though. 2y
82 likes4 comments
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britt_brooke
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Playing catch up: black and white for @candority 🖤🖤🖤 #bookcolortag

Centique Great photo! 2y
RealBooks4ever Nice selection! 💜 2y
britt_brooke @Centique Thank you! 2y
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candority Beautiful! And great book too! 2y
britt_brooke @candority Thanks! 😁 And it's still TBR, but I hope to get to it soon. 2y
enoyus I love Memoirs of a Geshia ❤️ 2y
146 likes1 stack add9 comments
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Bookishaf
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Trying to finish this by Monday for a book club but not so sure. I feel like this is one that I need to take my time reading to understand it better. Thoughts from those who've read it?

Megabooks It sounded a little weird in the wrong way to me. Can't help ☹️ 3y
44 likes1 comment
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Eyejaybee
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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A great way to start a weekend

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britt_brooke
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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saresmoore Beautiful! 3y
Reviewsbylola 😍😍😍 3y
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sisilia Excellent collection! 3y
britt_brooke @sisilia Thank you! 3y
DebinHawaii Nice!! 📚📚👍 3y
165 likes7 comments
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britt_brooke
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Bought these beauties with my second place fantasy football winnings. 🙌🏻🏈🥈💰 #bookmail #tbr

Alfoster Sweet!😍😍😍 3y
Mtroiano Nice! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 3y
vivastory I'll be really interested in your thoughts on "Hystopia." It's a very unique experience. 3y
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Suzze Congrats! And a nice use of the winnings. 👌🏼 3y
Christine Ooh congrats!! 🏈🏆💰 3y
britt_brooke @vivastory Sounds like it'll be a wild ride! 3y
Cinfhen Sweet 👍🏻💜🎉 3y
kspenmoll Nice win! 📚 3y
[DELETED] 3323341091 ooo...Quesadillas! 3y
britt_brooke @fern 🙌🏻 That's a #blameitonlitsy pick up. Looking forward to reading it! 3y
LeahBergen 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3y
minkyb Sports and books = win/win! 3y
Linda906 I'm a sports nut and a fantasy footballer- but I didn't win😑or come in second! Congrats to you for a good season and the books!👏👍 3y
britt_brooke @Linda906 Thank you!! ☺😁🙌🏻 3y
139 likes1 stack add17 comments
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BookishMarginalia
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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At our happy place @TheBookmarkPR in an attempt to avoid thinking about our fresh electric power woes: during yesterday's wind storm the power started flickering and now half our house (the half not affected last time) is at half power -- lights dim and flickering, refrigerator on but not cooling... Sigh. Let's hope the electrician can fix it, and that it stays fixed for more than 2 weeks. 😬

OrangeMooseReads 😔oh no. I'm sorry. 3y
DrexEdit Oh dear! Here's hoping the solution is cost-effective and timely and long-lasting. 3y
Notafraidofwords I hope it gets better ! 3y
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CocoReads Power problems are the worst! Hope it gets fixed soon! 3y
Dragon I hope you have gas heat and are not cold. Take care 🐉 3y
stacybmartin Good luck!! 💜💜💜 3y
WanderingBookaneer @Dragon Thankfully, only fellow Puerto Ricans would find this weather cold. 3y
Librariana Fingers crossed for y'all! We got hit with ice in the Midwest 😔 3y
SusanInTiburon Wishing you power and light. 3y
melbeautyandbooks Oh man. So sorry. Y'all can't catch a break. 3y
tpixie 🍀 💡🍀 3y
MrBook Our water pump just went, so we don't have water. We feel your pain! *big hug* 3y
megt Oh no! Fingers crossed for a speedy (and long term) fix! 3y
LeahBergen Gah!!! 3y
minkyb That is just wrong. 3y
Joybishoptx Ugh! Hope it gets fixed soon! 3y
Cinfhen Oh no 🙈 not again 3y
Gina "What is a soul? It's like electricity - we don't really know what it is, but it's a force that can light a room." Ray Charles. May your soul light your room at least until it gets fixed ;) 3y
kspenmoll Tough!! Hope its fixed asap💚 3y
137 likes19 comments
review
vivastory
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Pickpick

"Hystopia" is an unusual combination of alternate history, war story and serial killer thriller. JFK has established an unstable program titled Psych Corps in Michigan to help Vietnam veterans handle the trauma of war. "Hystopia" is an unique concept & has the narrative propulsion that could easily be termed cinematic. The book rises above entertainment through the complexity of the characters and the violence and unrest both foreign and domestic.

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vivastory
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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What a great cover!

LauraBeth I'm probably the only book nerd who is terrified of skulls! 3y
vivastory @LauraBeth No memento mori for you then? 3y
23 likes2 comments
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smccallum
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Mehso-so

SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Given my current response I can imagine something clicking one way or another soon but currently this feels like the definition of so-so. There are stunning moments and characters and some gorgeous prose but on the whole it feels really uneven and when I finished I just felt very 'meh'. Mixed bag

Tcip I've been wanting to read this since I saw it on the Man Booker list. 3y
mauveandrosysky I liked the whole of it much better than the parts, if that makes sense. 3y
smccallum @mauveandrosysky it does. It's a strange book, I think it's probably on the edge of blowing my mind but it just failed to land and has been left in some weird stasis 3y
23 likes3 comments
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LornaDH
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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When we're in the city, books happen.

Kathrin Arkady Renko! Such a quirky character! 3y
21 likes1 comment
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smccallum
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Slowly but surely getting through this, not quite sure how I feel

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smccallum
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Time to get my read on!

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smccallum
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Very slowly making way through this for sight reading homework. Proving an interesting experience!

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grassmortensen
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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First Litsy post! Excited to join this book community. I started David Mean's HYSTOPIA the other day, and it's definitely something different.

This story is a book within a book, but that's really only the beginning of what seems to be a weird and twisted (but awesome) book. I've seen HYSTOPIA compared to one of my favorites, CATCH-22, so I'm curious to see how this plays out.

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smccallum
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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And so it begins! Slight trepidation given the mixed reviews but marmite books are always interesting!

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RebeccaH
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Mehso-so

I had moments of liking this book, but just moments. Overall, it felt like too much, too many effects it was trying to create, too much zaniness. I didn't care enough.

shawnmooney Hmm, it sounds like you're describing my life in the 80s… LOL 3y
29 likes1 comment
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smccallum
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Which of these two next Litsy friends? Any preferences?

shawnmooney I recently finished The Sympathizers and found it to be extremely powerful - a top read of 2016 so far for me. But, like Hystopia, it's gotten very mixed reviews. Best to do a lot of research before choosing, i think. 3y
TheLondonBookworm When in doubt go for the cooler cover 😂😂 Hystopia! 3y
rachelm Sympathizer. It's incredible. 3y
14 likes3 comments
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RebeccaH
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Booker long list #12. I'm a little nervous about this one, tbh.

britt_brooke I'm curious about this one. 3y
RebeccaH It's pretty bizarre @britt_brooke I'm not sure what to think! 3y
25 likes2 comments
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manbookerprize
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Our Man Booker Prize 2016 judges on Hystopia by David Means…

‘Hystopia is a dazzling, muscular debut about conflict, trauma and the savage irony of the twentieth century.‘

Which longlisted book are you reading?

#ManBooker2016 #FinestFiction

Simona At the moment I'm reading my eleventh from the long list - Serious Sweet. I still have to finish His Bloody Project and Do Not Say We Have Nothing. 3y
DreesReads Gave up on Hystopia after making it halfway. "Dazzling" is not a word I would ever use to describe something so horrifically violent. 3y
33 likes12 stack adds2 comments
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manbookerprize
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means

Our Man Booker Prize 2016 judges on Hystopia by David Means…

‘Hystopia is a dazzling, muscular debut about conflict, trauma and the savage irony of the twentieth century.‘

Which longlisted book are you reading?

#ManBooker2016 #FinestFiction

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manbookerprize
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means

Our Man Booker Prize 2016 judges on Hystopia by David Means…

‘Hystopia is a dazzling, muscular debut about conflict, trauma and the savage irony of the twentieth century.‘

Which longlisted book are you reading?

#ManBooker2016 #FinestFiction

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smccallum
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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#bookhaul as we reach the end of #augustphotochallenge

rubyslippersreads The book on musicals sounds great! 3y
smccallum @rubyslippersreads I couldn't tell you yet! Picked it up second hand today but am excited about both of them :) 3y
20 likes2 comments
review
Simona
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Mehso-so

Writing style (a novel within a novel with two main stories) completely corresponds to the content (an alternative history, the consequences of the war, amnesia, pills, visions, violence) and this style doesn't fit me, although I understand why the author decided to use it. I appreciate the idea behind the book and recommend it to all who enjoy reading challenging books (in terms of the form and content). It's quite psychedelic book.

Laalaleighh That quote about honor, so true though. 3y
Simona @Laalaleighh I finished the book a few days ago and this quote is still in my head - the idea of honor, how it affects our lives/decisions, how has it changed/evolved over time ... I have no prior knowledge of philosophy, but it seems to me that is an important topic for understanding today's society. 3y
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Laalaleighh @Simona I agree. Think about all the atrocities committed in the name of honor as well. Hell, one of the worst practices in the world in my opinion, honor killings, has the word right there in its name. 3y
Simona @Laalaleighh I agree and this border between what is honorable and what is not, this line bothers me. 3y
Laalaleighh @Simona same. I dislike the idea that honor is subjective when it's so important it's worth doing terrible things in its name. I also don't think anything so tightly bound to pride should be worth hurting others over. 3y
Simona @Laalaleighh I couldn't agree more. 3y
44 likes7 comments
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DreesReads
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Bailedbailed

So. Much. Killing. Disgusting. Another author to avoid. I made it halfway and wish I hadn't.

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JenP
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Pickpick

Not an easy read and at times not exactly enjoyable. But incredibly original and quite clever in what it was able to achieve. A worthy nominee for the Longlist. See our panel reviews and where it ranks for us:

https://thereadersroom.org/2016/08/26/2016-man-booker-hystopia-by-david-means/

britt_brooke Nice photo! 3y
JenP @britt_brooke thanks! I love the cover of this book 3y
4 likes2 comments
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mauveandrosysky
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Pickpick

This is hard for me to rate because I appreciate it more than I actually enjoyed reading it.

It‘s a complex, mindfuck of a novel that pays homage to postmodernist fiction from the late 20th century.

I can‘t say I fully understand it, but I can tell you that it evoked deep emotions in me anyway. It confronts heavy themes, from war trauma and mental illness to grief and love, leaving us to question the depths of our own resilience. #ManBooker2016

shawnmooney Did you happen to catch Michael Silverblatt's interview with Means? It's what got me first interested in reading the book, which I have yet to do, but someday! http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/bookworm/david-means-hystopia 3y
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mauveandrosysky
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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My reading buddy is helping me through this mind fuck of a book. 😜 #catsoflitsy

shawnmooney Mindfuck in a good way? I'm really curious about this one… 3y
mauveandrosysky @shawnmooney I'm enjoying the ride, but it's definitely one of those books that's not for everyone. If you like postmodernism, you'll probably like it. 3y
RebeccaH Oh, boy. I'm not sure if I will like it. I sometimes like postmodernist novels and sometimes ... not. We'll see! 3y
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mauveandrosysky @RebeccaH they can be super challenging, for sure. The plot in this one is relatively easy to follow though so that's definitely a plus! 3y
RebeccaH Oh, that helps a lot. I'm not much for complex plots. @mauveandrosysky 3y
Simona I'm in real struggle with this one ☹️, for the fourth day now! 3y
mauveandrosysky @Simona it's slow going for me! It's one of those books that I like while I'm reading it but I don't feel compelled to pick it up when I'm not reading it. I'm hoping everything comes together in a really satisfying way. 3y
Simona @mauveandrosysky My feelings exactly! 3y
CarrieScott You had me at "mind fuck" 3y
mauveandrosysky @CarrieScott it's a weird one. Not one I'll recommend to most people to be honest. 3y
CarrieScott *shrug* 3y
MrBook 😻😻😻 #Calliope and my #Coale could be siblings 😸. 3y
Kitta 😸😸😸 3y
48 likes13 comments
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DreesReads
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Having finished Barkskins about a week ago, here I am reading about lumber mills in Michigan. Again. 😂

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mauveandrosysky
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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BookBerries 😂 3y
34 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BookBerries
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Currently trying to read but having a hard time

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mauveandrosysky
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Thirty pages in and already this one seems like it's going to be HEAVY on the postmodernism. Luckily, I'm a fan of postmodernism, so bring it on.

Yournewfriendsams This looks way good! 3y
reneelyons Nice! I'm waiting for all of my books to come I'm, getting impatient - the short list will be here so soon! 3y
Sue This is sitting on my kindle in line behind my 16 Netgalleys. It looks so good!! 3y
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Simona I'm in the middle of the book and theme is interesting but the style of writing causes me big problems. 🙃 3y
mauveandrosysky @Simona the first chapter after all the editors notes was challenging for me but now that I'm past that and into the rhythm of the book I feel like I'm doing okay with the style. I definitely understand what you mean though! 3y
mauveandrosysky @Yournewfriendsams @reneelyons @Sue I'm only on page 70 now but it's really interesting so far. Definitely the kind of book that's not for everyone though. 3y
BookBerries I just started and I'm already lost 😂😂😂 3y
mauveandrosysky @BookBerries haha it's certainly strange! 3y
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ReadingEnvy
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Bailedbailed

This was a quick attempt for the Man Booker. Not a book I would have ever picked up based on description and not one I care to finish. It might be your thing but it isn't for me.

Redheadrambles Oh this list ! I keep wanting to find a wee gem on it but nothing is standing out based on my reading or reviews so far. 3y
ReadingEnvy @Redheadrambles same.. And now I'm out of the sub segment that my public library had on hand so I'm going to have to pursue the others. 3y
Laalaleighh I bought this but after reading the description I was pretty sure it wasn't for me. So now it's just sitting on my shelf 3y
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BookBerries Same!! 3y
ReadingEnvy @BookBerries 😜🙌🏻 3y
32 likes6 comments
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mauveandrosysky
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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#TBRTuesday - several that I'm hoping to get to soon!

Penny_LiteraryHoarders Great stack!!! 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled So many good ones!! And so many in my TBR too 3y
Liberty I loved every single one of those! 😍 3y
mauveandrosysky @Liberty I think I bought at least three of these based on your recommendation! 😀 3y
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JenP
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Did I imagine my fate was ahead of me? You bet I did. Did I stand there at dawn, a Nam dawn creeping across our weary faces and fleshing out the colors in the jungle, and imagine my death? You bet. Because what else could we do between firefights but try to foresee the possibilities at hand, all of them, including our own deaths?

VaporReads That entire segment was one of the best parts. 3y
JenP @VaporReads I agree. I really liked the book but I know lots of people didn't care for it 3y
7 likes2 comments
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RobinGustafson
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Two more Man Booker longlist titles scored from the library

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JenP
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Book number 4 in my way through the 2016 Man Booker Longlist will be: Hystopia by David Means. Have you read it? What did you think? I am currently reading (and loving) Work like any other. We will start posting reviews for our books next week!

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evilmingey
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Pickpick

LOVED THIS BOOK.

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IAmNerdyMe
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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So excited that my Librarian's Book Club books came in today!

IAmNerdyMe This book disappointed me. Find out why...http://thenerdylibrarian.com/2618-2/ 4y
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Liberty
Hystopia: A Novel | David Means
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Pickpick

So this book is bonkers. If you like trippy war novels, alternate history, and a flat-out brilliant premise, this book is for you!

oblongirl I need to give this one to my dad! He's one of our locals. 4y
Liberty @oblongirl You have a remarkable amount of authors in your area. 😄 4y
Hrhadrienne Please tell me those are tic tacs 4y
Liberty @Hrhadrienne Calcium! 4y
brennareadsbooks That cover is amazing. 4y
51 likes35 stack adds5 comments