What I’m Reading: The Unincorporated Man

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The Unincorporated Man by Dani and Eytan Kollin

Again with the post-apocalyptic fiction. I am in a rut.

I found this book in a bargain bin at Barnes and Noble. I picked it up because my hubby said, “This looks like something you’d like.” He was largely correct.

The Unincorporated Man tells the story of Justin Cord, a man who awakens from cryogenic suspension into a society where everyone is incorporated. In simple terms, everyone has personal stock, and to own that stock is to own a piece of that person’s present and future earnings. This has been the norm ever since the “Grand Collapse,” an event much like the Great Depression on a global scale. Emerging from the near destruction of all humanity, the survivors created a world controlled by capitalism on every level. Your shareholders can determine your college, your career, and even aspects of your lifestyle in order to protect their investment, and unless you own a majority of your stock, there is little you can do about it. For the newly awakened Justin, this sounds suspiciously like slavery.

The novel was decently written, especially for a pair of first-time writers. The story was long, but it always held my interest. It had a unique premise, good description, and believable characters. It even had several moments of absolute brilliance. One chapter in particular had me breathless in horror as Justin finally understood the nature of the VR plague that brought about the Grand Collapse. The Kollin brothers are talented, and I admire their creativity.

However, I cannot recommend this book. Language was a problem to begin with. The chapter about Mardi Gras, which in the future is a week-long celebration similar to a bachelor/ette party in Los Vegas, made me irritated at the authors for wasting my time. But it was the gratuitous sex scene killed any possibility of my ever giving it to a friend. It left me so disgusted and angry that I will never read another book by the Kollin brothers ever again.

I was very disappointed in this book. I would have roundly praised the novel had the writers kept the story clean. Instead the book will once again be relegated to a bargain bin. I plan to sell it to Half-Price Books as soon as I can.

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2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Unincorporated Man

  1. Dani,
    First of all, I am surprised you noticed my little blog. I’m very flattered that you actually read my review and took the time to respond.
    Second, I appreciate you explaining your choices. While I understand your reasoning, I still would have found a different way to convey the forbidden love aspect without using a sex scene. I believe there are always alternatives to peeking into someone else’s bedroom.
    As I said in my review, I thought several parts of your novel were simply brilliant, and part of the reason I was so disappointed with that section was I absolutely loved the book to that point. Opening the section on Mardi Gras made me wince, and I just kept wincing until that scene. Then I honestly got upset because I knew I could no longer recommend the book to friends, and I really wanted to.
    Again, thank you for the response. Hopefully you’ll get to read and review one of my books someday.

  2. Hey Laura,

    Sorry the sex scene turned you off and “re” relegated us to the bargain bin. So you know we never viewed that scene as gratuitous but rather as the culmination of Justin and Neela’s “forbidden love” as established by the morays of the time (reanimations specialists and patients; taboo). That it occurred as it did was simply a manifestation of A) Mardi Gras being used as a means by which to demonstrate the utter repression experienced by society and hence their need to go “all out” (with the technology of the time) in order to vent that frustration. And of course B) the vehicle by which Neela and Justin can consume their passion yet somehow still remain “faceless.” I’m telling you this for a number of reasons.
    1. I wanted you to know there was thought behind both scenes.
    2. I wanted to keep you, as a Christian reader, because the next two books we’ve written explore the notions of faith re-emerging from, in essence, a Godless society. I.E. one in which man believes via his control of nature that he is in fact God. We explore what Christianity, Judaism and Islam would appear like if suddenly once again, thrown into the spotlight as a dispirited society suddenly begins to question the idea of faith as it begins to experience for the first time in hundreds of years far more frequent episodes of “permanent” death.

    And finally, as the sons of an Air Force chaplain and (for me at least) as a family man of deep faith and spirituality, I would be very interested in your take on how well we did or didn’t do in book 2 (The Unincorporated War).

    Sincerely,

    Dani

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