Love and Other Thought Experiments: Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020

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Love and Other Thought Experiments: Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020

Love and Other Thought Experiments: Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020

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The experiments are renowned studies of the imagination; the stuff of philosophers and psychologists. While each chapter unpacks a different philosophical thought, the writing is not cerebral, in fact, it has a lightness and easy flow. This is not to say that the story is not clever and well written, it is just done in a way that the end of the book makes the reader have to work too hard to join the dots (and it is Sci-Fi). And while at first you may read this first chapter as fairly conventional, with the ant simply an oddity, you would be mistaken – the ant (as well as the Pascal code which occasionally enters the flow), are far from oddities; in fact they are equally important to the narrative as Rachel and Eliza and vital to the fate of a far wider group. Also, the chapter doesn’t necessarily explore the thought experiment itself but often uses ideas from that experiment to trigger the next phase of the story.

Instead, I settled for doing a few jumping jacks and pacing around the kitchen for a bit until I exhausted myself. This is more the kind of book I would expect to see on The Goldsmiths Prize list, although it is not actually eligible for that prize, so that won’t happen. In the first story you have no idea why there should be this computer speak there, and so I ignored it, probably didn’t even read it, skipping on to the next line.Oh, mum, just say I’m a lesbian,’ Rachel told her when Elizabeth asked what she should tell the hairdresser who wanted to know why she hadn’t seen Rachel for so long. novel Love and Other Thought Experiments is a confounding and compelling read that I think will have lasting effects on my reading life; exactly how that will play out is still to be discovered.

YA may do better with getting rep onto the page, but it often isn’t as complex in theme or detail as would benefit adult readers, which makes it less than ideal as a primary driver of these discussions. In fact, the novel asks us to consider how far can we extend our empathy if humanity is to survive and is on the whole rather positive on our loving capacity to achieve this.There are a few LGBTQ+ characters included at the forefront of the cast, but they seem to exist naturally and without identity-based conflict in this world, thus failing to generate any social commentary; I think it’s very important for marginalized characters to be present in books this way, as people worth the page space without having to examine their lives for the reader’s benefit, but again it doesn’t exactly help one connect to or feel for these characters. I’ve sometimes dipped into reading science and philosophy out of a curiosity to better understand the world and the nature of being, but I often find these texts too formal and dry to engage with for very long.

Ward's debut is an experimental novel that cleverly merges philosophical investigations into the nature of love and reality with literature or, to be more exact, with narrative games on how our decisions and random destiny plot the storylines of our lives. I understand and respect the academia of the experiments, but in a number of cases I struggled to get the essence (after looking on line, as I imagine most people who are not philosophers, will need to do).One of Ward’s characters believes that an ant has separated itself from its colony to bore through her eye and penetrate her brain.

I found it a bit of a hodgepodge of styles and themes, the last quarter confused the hell out of me. I could be a thought experiment, something Eliza has dreamed up to challenge her hardened reasoning. Inspired by some of the best-known thought experiments in philosophy, particularly philosophy of mind, Love and Other Thought Experiments is a story of love lost and found across the universe. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

Although I am fairly confident I got the gist of the book and figured out many of the philosophical underpinnings . The ant’s narrative describes how its reality intertwined with the host it has infiltrated, about how it begins to feel human emotion as its consciousness begins to meld with Rachel’s.



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