Saturday, July 25, 2015

Review: Bald New World by Peter Tieryas!

Title: Bald New World

Author: Peter Tieryas

Format: Paperback, 214 pages

Pub. Date: June 2014

Source: Goodreads First Reads

Book Description via Goodreads:

Selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Science Fiction Books of Summer 2014 and listed on Buzzfeed's 15 Highly Anticipated Books of 2014, Bald New World asks the question:

What if everyone in the world lost their hair?

Nick Guan and his friend Larry Chao are a pair of eccentric filmmakers who choose to explore the existential angst of their balding world through cinema. Larry is heir to one of the most lucrative wig companies in the world. Nick is a man who’s trying to make sense of the tatters of his American dream. Taking place throughout China and America, the pair set off on a series of misadventures involving North Korean spies, veterans of an African War, and digital cricket fighters. Their journey leads them to discover some of the darkest secrets behind wig-making and hair in a hairless world.

"After my heart gives out and I'm on the operating table for emergency surgery, I will have told my physicians and surgeons to replace my heart with Peter Tieryas Liu's Bald New World, or any of his books really, because that's what I think of when I think of Liu's writing--heart. Similar to the work of Philip K. Dick, this parodic dystopia is steeped in futuristic technology that further bridges the gap between man and machine. Still, whether watching the latest episode of the immensely popular reality show Jesus the General or sparring against an opponent in the blood-sport known as cricket fighting, the humanity of our narrator shines through. Although we humans are capable of doing and creating sad, funny, glorious, devious things, we also persevere and adapt, survive. I wonder what Huxley would think of this, but he's dead. You're not, so read this book, feel alive."
-Jason Jordan, author of Pestilence, editor of decomP

"The boldly imaginative Bald New World follows Nicholas Guan, a military type tasked to digitally touch up scenes of carnage, in his misadventures from Korea to a futuristic California and in his frenzied dash from Gamble Town to China . The novel tells of beautifully flawed characters, the blurring distinction between reality and virtual environments, the comical yet chilling wave of religious fanaticism, and a world battling a strange malady called the Great Baldification, an ingenious symbol of human vanity. Peter Tieryas Liu’s Bald New World is vivid, exhilarating, and wildly entertaining." –Kristine Ong Muslim, author of We Bury the Landscape and Grim Series

"Bald New World is a hypnotic, surreal, and insightful novel, blending Blade Runner and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle to create a dark, funny, and captivating story. One of the best books I've read this year."—Richard Thomas, Staring Into the Abyss



Every once in a while, there exists a book that is really hard for me to review. This is one of them. Through no real fault of the book or the author that I can identify, this book and I just didn't click very well.

It wasn't badly written or anything. In fact, I absolutely loved the world building throughout this book. Bald New World is an adult-age dystopian novel that involves the entire human population losing their hair for an unknown reason. It's a fascinating concept and overall it was executed pretty well. There's a good amount of humor in this book, and the author is often well detailed in his descriptions. The plot tends to wander now and again, so it was hard to follow in some parts. There was also a bit of repetition with vocabulary: it didn't bother me TOO much, but it was abundant enough that I noticed it while reading it.

I can't really think of anything that I didn't like, but there's not too much other than the world building that I loved either. It was a book that while I'm not sorry I read, I don't think that I will read it again in the future. I recommend it to people really enjoy science fiction. I definitely think that this was just a case of it's not you, it's me book, and that a lot of other people will really love it!

I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads Program in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great review, babe. This book has been on my tbr list for a while now, and while I'm saddened to see that you didn't find it fantastic, I'm glad that it still got a three star and that you are still giving it the benefit that it might be better for people who are fans of science fiction. Your reccomendations haven't been wrong, yet, so I'm eager to see if I like it better or not.