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Set in the near future, The Wanting Seed is a Malthusian comedy about the strange world overpopulation will produce.

Tristram Foxe and his wife, Beatrice-Joanna, live in their skyscraper world where official family limitation glorifies homosexuality. Eventually, their world is transformed into a chaos of cannibalistic dining-clubs, fantastic fertility rituals, and wars without anger. It is a novel both extravagantly funny and grimly serious.”

I read A Clockwork Orange years ago and loved it so when I saw this in a used book store I actually bought it. That is one of very few books I have bought in the last two years.

This book had some amazing key words to spark my interest, like “cannibalistic dining-clubs” and homosexuality. I had very high hopes for this book. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. It was very much the work I expected from this author, but the content didn’t quite feel like it went far enough for me.

This book is gorgeously written and I just love the language that is used. It felt like a real language. There was little to no explanation of the terms so they felt more real and less like a made up language like many sci-fi works have. That is an amazing skill that Burgess has. He also just has a way with pacing. The book starts slow, gives you a chance to adjust. Then BAM action that never stops, but without feeling overwhelmed.

The content wasn’t very funny to me. Maybe I missed the humor in this one, but it was still a book I really enjoyed. It had a very normal plot of wife cheating on husband with brother, but the extra elements such as homosexuality being preferred to control population, having more than one child being illegal, and then the collapse of the government to really drive home how fantastic the plot can be if really fleshed out.

The way that the view of cannabalism evolved was a great look into how attitudes in general evolve. First it was disgusting and against God. Then there was a period where riots broke out when there was no choice left. Finally it was so accepted it was forced on everyone. It was glorious when Tristram had military issued canned human.

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4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book.

You can buy this book here.

~Isaiah

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