Bookworm

Bookworm


Fiction - Dystopia
274 Pages
Reviewed on 03/01/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jason Srebnick is the author of Bookworm. He is a writer, screenwriter, illustrator, poet, and cartoonist who lives in Massachusetts with his wife, two children and their dog. And books. Lots and lots of books.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

In Bookworm by Jason Srebnick, the reader is pulled into a future that does not seem too unrealistic at all. The world is controlled by a handful of corporations that employ most of the people on the planet. Working 17-20 hours a day is normal. Being married to a selected mate and having two test-tube children is also normal. Work happens in office hives, no interaction with other workers is allowed. It's all for the corporations and if you happen to think otherwise, you have to undergo rigorous training sessions (more like brainwashing actually). For one of the billions of mindless human drones, however, life changes when his travel pod crashes. Aaron Cogwell, married, with two children, awakes in a cottage in the forest (that nobody ever visits as it would be a waste of time that could be used to work!). A woman called Mary changes his life for good by introducing him to fruit and vegetables and... to books! Aaron's mind is torn between the new way of life he literally fell into and his obligations towards the cooperation. And then there's his wife and his two children. When Aaron watches children in the forest who are happy and smiling without having to be pumped full of drugs and connected to an E-device, his whole life starts crumbling to pieces. But what will he do?

Bookworm by Jason Srebnick is one of the books you can't stop reading - but you also fear getting too close to the end because this means there'd be nothing left to read. When I was close to being through about 90% of the book, I paused and thought: "Oh no, if I continue reading, it'll be over soon." But I had to read on because you couldn't be sure about how it would all end. Bookworm is very exciting but also a bit scary - because we already have those huge corporations, too. And don't we already have people who turn into mindless drones, doing nothing but staring at their smartphones or tablets all the time, ignoring the world around them? This book makes you think about the world around you. What would you do if you were in Aaron's situation? This book is a fantastic read - entertaining and thought-provokingly philosophical at the same time.

Cheryl Schopen

Imagine a world where your life is dedicated to the Corporation you work for, where you have to work a mandatory 17 hours a day, where the only break you have is a work-end, which lasts for four hours and occurs every 36 days, where the advances in technology run your entire life, and where you never communicate with your co-workers and barely communicate with your family. This is how Aaron lives in Bookworm by Jason Srebnick. He loves his Corporation and is grateful to them for everything he has, partly because it has been ingrained in his head since birth. Aaron, and every other citizen in this Corporate-run world, is completely loyal to the Corporation and puts the Corporation’s needs before his own. Since this is the only way of living he knows, he is more than happy. However, his life soon changes drastically in the blink of an eye, and he begins to learn that there is another way to live. He meets a puzzling outsider who shows him that he has a choice and that his life’s purpose does not have to be to serve the Corporation.

What I found particularly eye-opening about Bookworm is that this world and way of living is not as far-fetched as we’d like to think it is. The idea of working to live can so easily become living to work. Some people in our society spend too much time on their work and not enough time with their families. Not to mention the rapid growth of technology, which is very much a part of our lives and our kids’ lives. As I was reading this incredible book, on an e-reader by the way, I felt like I could be reading about our future. Jason Srebnick is a great writer. He took this concept and this world and made it completely real. Not only is the setting frighteningly credible, but the characters are as well. With so much technology embedded in our lives, we can easily relate to Aaron, who felt like something was missing and that he needed to be a husband and father instead of being brainwashed by corporations and the technological world. In addition to believable characters, the plot was exciting with a couple of twists and turns, and the writing was fantastic. I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in a little sci-fi with a very important message. One thing I will walk away with after reading this book: while technology has its benefits, we need to read REAL books and spend as much time as possible with REAL people. Thank you, Jason Srebnick for writing this amazing, thought-provoking book.

Bil Howard

How much of our current society and culture do you take for granted? Imagine a world where the Corporation comes first and controls everything in your life from birth to death. Along the lines of 1984, Bookworm by Jason Srebnick will draw you back to an appreciation of many of the things that you now take for granted. Aaron Cogwell is an ideal citizen in the corporate world of New Boston. He works seven days a week for seventeen hours a day, aided by chemicals that keep his mood in balance. Every thirty-six days he enjoys a four-hour stoppage of work, in which he enjoys a few hours of free time with his family. His dream is to have a larger living space and more things to put on show in his display case. He simply doesn’t know that there is any alternative to the world in which he lives until destiny, fate, or luck comes his way and he is suddenly thrust out of that life and into a much simpler and more primitive way of life when his pod crashes into the forest. The strange new things in this new, anti-corporate world are at times more than he can take. Will he ever be the same again? Will he ever be able to be happy in the corporate world?

Bookworm is painful at times in its truth. Jason Srebnick has done an excellent job of giving us a look into what our world would be like if everything was run by huge corporations and work and getting ahead was all that mattered. It does this in a way that reminds those of us who have a deep love for the freedom in our leisure and more importantly in our books. The glaring difference between reading a book by turning the pages and having a book read to you or watching a book on a video is developed in stark contrast. I give high praise to Jason Srebnick for reminding us all that there are many things in this world worth holding onto, even while we reach for our next ebook. Superb! Destined to be a classic.