Hey guys, what’s up?
This is week five, book five, Dust by Hugh Howey.
So, this book review is gonna be a bit of a negative one because my key takeaway from this book is a failed ending. I just felt after three books of these two opposing worldviews that has been set up throughout the whole books, we had this rushed ending that ended it nothing but plot points being ticked along and I feel like we lost a really good opportunity to have this moral and ethical battleground happen where two opposing worldviews come into play and the better one wins out and we have this battle of ideologies where you have a villain who’s almost perfect in Thurman and he doesn’t necessarily want the world to end. He wants the world to survive, and this is his way of making sure humans do live forever and do survive into the next generation because he felt the alternative was worse and that we would all get wiped out.
For me, what makes a really good villain is one that has a worldview you can almost agree with. To disagree with them is quite hard, actually. It’s quite hard to say that they’re wrong. Usually where they are wrong is their methods.
For instance, Killmonger in Black Panther, he wasn’t technically wrong in the way he thought and what he wanted, but his methods to achieve his goals were definitely wrong. And that made him such a great villain. He was a better villain probably than what Black Panther was as a protagonist. And when you have a great villain like that, it makes for a really good story because it makes you ask questions about yourself.
You know, with Thurman, he is almost a perfect antagonist. He’s a great villain. He was trying to save humanity. His intentions were pure and good, his ways he went about it were terrible.
He wiped out the whole of human population just to realize one silo with people who would eventually repopulate the human population, and whether or not he was right or wrong and who you believe and do you believe his way or Juliette’s way or Donald’s way is entirely up to interpretation.
I don’t know which is better.
Probably don’t think Thurman was right in the way that he thought. I think there’s better ways, and there’s a line in the books where it says
“When things happen as an act of God, you can forgive God. When it happens because of humans doing it, you go out for blood. “
That forms the basis of so much of Thurman’s ideas, that because this nanotechnology was created by humans, humans would never forgive, there’d be a waging war forever and it would never stop, so it’s best off just to wipe it all clean, get rid of their technology, create a new legacy, and have one small population left to repopulate the world and start again.
Would that technology eventually come back again?
But, it could happen centuries and maybe millennia down the track, and by that stage, hopefully we’ve learned the lesson and different things could change. But, you know, you can’t stop the progress of science. It’s going to happen. It’s inevitable. It would always eventually get there.
These things happen all the time. It’s like nuclear bombs. Yes, maybe if we shut down the Manhattan Project it might have taken a couple more decades or whatever to create an atomic bomb, but it was going to happen anyway.
Same with the light bulb. Thomas Edison who gets credit for the light bulb, yeah he made it, but if he hadn’t done it, so many other people would’ve created the light bulb in his place. It was just a matter of time. That once you open up that can of worms in technology, it eventually happens. If it’s possible, it will happen.
So, that’s where Thurman’s argument falls down, is that eventually we’re gonna get there again, that this nanotechnology will be invented again, and then what do we do?
Do we have to wipe out the population again?
I don’t know.
So, my problem with this book was that none of these questions were answered and we were never really given that battle between these ideologies of should humans be allowed to just keep going and let them figure out their own course of action, or should someone step in and take control of every one in the general population and make decisions for people. And I don’t know what it should have been, how it should have finished.
I guess I my opinion maybe what could have happened is something like in the Matrix when Neo says to the robots that he’s gonna give every human the option to leave the Matrix and it’s up to them if they want to, but he’s gonna give them the truth and allow them to make their own choice.
I feel like that was a perfect ending to the similar moral dilemma of would you prefer to be oblivious to what’s happening in the world and live your comfortable life or would you rather know the truth that potentially leads down a darker path, but at least you have control of your choices. And yeah, I wish that sort of played out in this book, but you never know.
Maybe we get a fourth book and it sort of allows that argument to be played out. Yeah, so that was my key takeaway for the book.
If you agree or disagree with anything here, please chuck it in the comments. I’d love to know.
Let me know what your takeaway was from the book.
If you enjoyed it, I’d love to know what you did like about it.
Did you like the ending?
Let me know.
Otherwise, next week we’re reading The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday and really looking forward to this after reading Ego is Enemy. So, please jump on, have a read of that one, too, and I’ll see you next week.