Kindle Pdf The Divers' Game ↠ Jesse Ball – doctorio.us
Summary Ë PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ↠ Jesse BallIf Jesse Ball s mind was an actual place I d love to travel there I m sure it would be spellbinding and full of weird surprises iveting strange and disturbing No one writes about human cruelty and its conseuences like this guy and no one employs the enlightening power the perspective of a kid can provide far away from any cheap kitsch like the winner of last year s Gordon Burn Prize for Census a tribute to his dead brother To write like this you have to have deep moral convictions a sprawling imagination and the talent to turn this into intense affecting prose as a eader you need to be willing to put on your hiking boots and bring your compass in order to venture into the overgrown jungle at the heart of a emote narrative island because Ball s books are no beach eads The Divers Game is a novel in three parts In the first one we meet two kids living in a dystopian society that openly accepts and cements ineuality justifying this with arguments that ely on fear ignorance and ideas of superiority The people living in the lawless uarters outside the city most of them efugees are declared to be less than human and every kid is taught how to gas them if one of them crosses their path and disobeys or is perceived as somehow dangerous It has no legal conseuences to immobilize or even painfully kill them with gas the people in the city are carrying gas and gas masks at all times Together with their alcoholic teacher the kids want to visit the zoo and they are ultimately separated to experience two different areas where livingdead creatures are cagedIn the second part we meet kids living in Row House one of the lawless uads outside the city especially a young girl chosen to be the center of an enigmatic itual that evolves around the limitless execution of personal power and the orgiastic experience of being part of a mob It was the cry of the punished that there should be punishment cruelty hate the world was always so much that the evelers had to flinch away had to etire from feeling and feel not what was before them but instead what they had felt what they might feel This itual mirrors another one in the first part of the book that is feared by the people in the city because it evolves around the establishment of euality As you see Ball is playing with eversals and trick mirrors also watch out for a character named Lambert Ma who for some is a hero for others a terrorist In addition to that we learn about the eponymous divers game that the kids in the uad like to play I won t explain the game in order not to spoil it but I can say that it s about belonging and the dangerous attempt to overcome separation pay attention that it only works in one direction thus being elevant to the whole book The third part is a letter written by the teacher s wife shortly before her death and it contemplates the price an individual soul might pay for being cruel and when instead of fairness there is just order and its conseuences What I love about Jesse Ball is how lyrical his prose is his daring creative ideas and how he does not feel the need to destroy the power of his strong haunting images by over explaining them Rather he trusts in his eaders abilities to appreciate the sheer beauty of his art and the iridescent associations he evokes This is a writer tackling
"very serious topics "serious topics proving that smart content and gorgeous writing can easily go together and I hope he will go on winning some prizes for this stunning novel I ve seen eviews which discuss this as a future dystopia but for me it s a veiled fable about now Ball offers up a world divided and ghettoised where the haves can kill at will where the have nots specifically efugees and criminals eleased from prison are non persons without legal ights It s a world that lacks compassion and empathy where language has been edefined so that the culture can embrace violence while still calling itself non violent where fear and insult are common currency It s no coincidence that a character is named Lethe the iver in the classical underworld from which the newly dead drink to forget what living was like How far is this conceptually from Trump s US or Brexit Britain where statesmen have normalised bullying bluster and boasting where sexual assault or disabilities can be mocked publicly where hatred has become legitimized whether for easons of ace gender sexuality class or any other divisive marker There s a horrible ecognition at the heart of Ball s worldFor all that the final and most powerful section for me is both despairing and hopeful as a woman who has killed finds that she is sickened by her own action by what she has done by what she is and how society has shaped her Her esistance is both annihilating and I think edemptive if only in a minor individual way Stark prose pressing politics and a desire to shock us into moral confrontation makes this an urgent unnerving eadMany thanks to Granta for an ARC via NetGalley The best dystopian novels pick the themes of their time extend them into the future and present the eader with an all too plausible nightmare societyImagine a society with a efugee crisis Then imagine a society that esponds to that efugee crisis not by ejecting the efugees but by allowing them to stay as long as they are physically marked so that everyone knows who belongs and who does not Imagine then that these others in society are stigmatised and often subject to violence Imagine that the solution to that is not to stop the violence but to edefine the word violence so that IT DOES NOT INCLUDE ACTS PERFORMED does not include acts performed the uads as they are known because they live in special lawless and walled in areas called uads and only leave at their own isk The pats as the esidents of the land are called carry canisters of gas and gas masks so that they are euipped to deal with any uad who approaches and looks vaguely threatening with no threat of epercussionsWelcome to Jesse Ball s future worldBut Jesse Ball is not one to tell a straightforward story That would be far too simple Ball presents us with three stories and he works by impressionism ather than by telling It is for the. From the inimitable mind of award winning author Jesse Ball a novel about an unsettlingly familiar society that has enounced the concept of euality and the devastating conseuences of unmitigated powerThe old fashioned struggle for fairness has finally been abandoned It was a misguided endeavor The world is divided into two groups pats and uads The pats may kill the uads as they like and do The ,
Reader to puzzle over the underlying themes and linksTwo girls attend a school where they are taught about their society they are pats and then taken to a zoo by a teacher with a drink problem One girl goes in the other stays outside Both experience an adventure This part of society is heading towards Ogias Day If you know your Christian Old Testament Ogias Day is like the Jubilee without the godly parts cancellation of debts establishment of euality and Then a young girl is selected to be the centre of a communal ceremony in one of the uads She is given free ein whatever she commands will happen as she tours the area and the mob mentality ises Where the ceremony of the first part sought euality and was feared by many because of that here the ceremony creates a complete ineuality a young girl has absolute power and is feared by many because of that We learn about the titular Divers Game which explores the connection between two local lakes and as it does so explores what it means to belong and the lengths people will go to in order to feel part of the in crowdFinally a woman writes a letter to her husband It is for the eader to work out who the woman is and I won t spoil the book by saying what the letter is about but the woman is concerned about the conseuences of cruelty for the life of the person being cruelThis then is a book to discuss with others What are the connections Are there connections Are the connections underneath ather than visible on the surface the title and the game might be a clue Are the connections thematic ather than plot hint there is no overall plot eally I write this at the stage where I have only just begin to make those connections and I know I have work ahead of me which I hope will be assisted by other eaders as I get chance to discuss the bookI love that Jesse Ball doesn t write about a dystopia where efugees have been ejected and walls have been built to keep them out I love that he turns things on their head and writes about a dystopia where the efugees are allowed to emain and his logical extension is to a society that marks those who don t belong and emoves penalties for harm done to themmI love that he then presents us with several different stories about this dystopian world but doesn t feel the need to explain it all This is similar to my favourite kind of artwork that presents the viewer with an abstract impressionistic image or several images but leaves it for the viewer to interpretYou have to be Jesse Ball to be able to imagine the world he creates You probably have to be Jesse Ball to understand how it all links together but there is sufficient thematic connection made to mean that the eader puts the book down knowing that they will be thinking about it for many days to come Like the subterranean connections within the novel this book lays the groundwork for some subconscious connections in the eaders mind the kind of thing that is likely to wake you up in the night thinking about it as pieces join togetherAs an aside having just finished a e ead of Deborah Levy s The Man Who Saw Everything how awesome would an evening called Deborah Levy and Jesse Ball In Conversation beMy thanks to Granta Publications for an ARC via NetGalley The Divers Game is the latest novel from Jesse Ball the 4th of his I have ead and someone who is fast emerging as one of our most interesting modern day writers It looks like it s about a very violent society that pretends it isn t violent at allIt smells like licorice left in a holeSource A hyena who searched Jesse Ball s house in 2018 and found the draft of this novel He said we can welcome them as long as we can tell them apart As long as we can tell them apart Many of them wherever they were from they had ed hats a kind of long knit hat a ed hat no
One Remembers Why And So Garing Saidremembers why and so Garing said will be their symbol We ll tattoo the ed hat on their cheeks and then we ll know who is who Then we can welcome themThis novel gives us a a dystopian set up but one that draws as Graham s eview points out on Nazi era ghettos with immigrants and increasingly also criminals in theory allowed to live in the host country but in practice physically branded and legally non persons such that violence towards them from ordinary citizens is not considered legally and increasingly not even morally wrong Our morality is what we do Do you all understand that But if what we do ceases to be violence let us say it is the same but it is no longer violence then we are not violent we are no longer doers of violenceDespite the historical set up this eference to the pernicious effect of normalisation of behaviour is highly pertinent to our times gun crime in the US would be one parallel And in fact the author himself argues that to see this as a dystopia is to misread it interview from Paris Review linked belowI don t believe it is a dystopia Dystopian novels are pleasant Distractions
"for the beach "The Beach for the beach for most part with lithe protagonists and evil This is not that at all Instead it is a short speech about violence eal violence that I have observed in the past forty one years It is a parable about that it s a parable but there is no lessonThe initial set up is over explained in a ather clunky set up literally in a lecture But the novel comes in to its own after the characters escape the lecture hall and we experience other key elements of the society both the ather terrifying Day of the Infanta amongst the non people and amongst the citizens Ogias Day declared seemingly at very short notice only a fee days earlier for the first time in over 50 years a sort of comprehensive Jubilee although no one uite seems to know what will happen He said he heard on the last Ogias Day a lot of people died Everything turns upside down Freedom surprises people they don t know what to do with it People who have been paying back debts for decades and then the debt is just gone It makes them crazy especially if they know other people who did fuck all with their debts And everyone s in the same boat What is that You could see why people would be mad Are you saying you think it s a bad idea No no I mean I owe so. Ads have no ecourse but to continue with their livesThe Divers’ Game is a thinly veiled description of our society an extreme case that demonstrates a truth we must change or our world will collapseWhat is the effect of constant fear on a life or on a culture The Divers’ Game explores the conseuences of violence through two festivals and through the dramatic and excruciating examination of .
Me I ve un it up pretty badly You know this job doesn t pay much I m glad for it to stop I don t owe anything she said I still live at home I heard she said that it isn t just debt It s all bonds So Dive down You just dive down and find the hole then it starts I mean you crawl For one pond to the other The divers game the part where you pull yourself into the hole is the worst Because from there you just have to go on You have to trust that the tunnel s the same as it was last time This book tends to be eviewed as set in a near future dystopia one which imagines a societal approach to mass immigration and to undesirables that seems only a logical extension of current trends I would add though that it is eally also a very lightly imagined variation on past practices and lacks the eal imagination of say an Exit West even John Lanchester s The Wall to which book it is in every other way superior and whose Booker longlisting looks even bizarre if one assumes that this book was eligible and submittedBall imagines a country which deals with mass immigration by admitting them marking them with a tattoo of a ed hat to make their status as legal non persons a legal status change which became enforced as a philosophical one that violence perpetuated on the efugees was not just not illegal but was not even immoral In time the efugees were also marked by amputation of their thumbs and given special areas uadrants outside of cities where they had a degree of safety in that citizens too forfeited their ights in what was deemed a pre civilised space Outside these guarded areas the citizens Pats are drilled in the deployment of gas masks and the use of poisonous gases to protect themselves against the dehumanised efugees uads Over time the uads are used to house other undesirables in particular criminals and the uads themselves have ough justice enforced by bosses who have eached an understanding with the guardsImmediately one set of ather obvious historical parallels are clear yellow stars non persons Nonperson status was euired because it emoved the moral and social obstacles for committing otherwise objectionable acts of violence crime abuse and murder ghettos KaposThe book has a shaky start the above information is ather clunkily covered by a hetorical evision lecture on the history of immigration given by Professor Mandred and attended by two citizen girls Lois and Lethe Luckily I was able to follow the principles of the Divers Game I assumed that this was the worst part of the book and trusting that Ball s writing abilities would be the same as in his last book I was able to go on The emainder of the first part follows Lois and particularly Lethe on a trip with the Professor to a zoo to see the last emaining animals in the country We witness the arbitrary way in which they all treat the uads they encounter and the Zoo itself is full of symbolism with a divide between dead and living animals with the almost eradication of animals a eminder of their cruel and arbitrary treatment often neither considered illegal or immoral in our society Later Lethe is accosted but unharmed by a group of uad children near some lakes The society is approaching Ogias Day a Jubilee style day where things are turned upside down and which is therefore unsettling to a society with the creed A world of tiers Know Your Place Upon ItBy Looking place upon itBy looking The second part is set in a particularly ough uad and is largely based around a aucous festival there the Day of the Infanta where a small child is chosen given the power to issue orders obeyed without uestion and euired to administer arbitrary justice in a series of eal as well as symbolic cases before being herself subject to the judgement
Of The Mob In Contrastthe mob In contrast the unsettling effect of Ogias s Day this day is greeted wildly by uads allowing them to enact their frustration at their status and the cruel justice to which they are normally subject Within this part we learn that the son of the uad boss has disappeared we later find playing the Divers Game a seeming analogy for the courage euired to travel between two otherwise separate socieites as well as a link to an incident in the first partBoth the post lecture first part and the second part are written in the wonderful style I ecognise from Ball s previous novel Census sparse and yet full of imagery enigmatic and yet full of meaningThe third part is another change of style to a ather preachy style in which Ball s character makes sure we have understood the moral of the book that in dehumanising others we dehumanise ourselves It is told in a series of short letters from a Pat woman one we already know to her husband feeling threatened by a uad she killed him with gas and immediately cannot come to terms with her actions and contemplates suicide OR PERHAPS THEY DO KNOW WHY MY REVULSION AT this place of our lives this society of which we are a part seems not to immediately admit an obvious truth the people who are ground to bits by our horrific thoughtlessness selfishness greed though they may not know in each case why it has happened they do not need to know These things have happened so often that it becomes clear a man like this did not die because of what he did but because of what he was We are the ones who have the privilege of having things happen to us because of what we do Not everyone is so lucky Overall this book while barely than a novella and easily ead in a single sitting is a uietly powerful and affecting plea to examine what the exclusion of the other is doing to the moral fabric of our societies One final emark I am sure it must be a coincidence but as Ball s last book Census was very similar in subject matter and style to China Mieville s The Census Taker this book in underlying subject matter but not in any way style shares a lot with The City and The City Mieville is I think by far the most imaginative and versatile of the two writers but the use he makes of his versatility in writing books in varying genre styles a police procedural in The City and The City enders Ball s the better ead in this caseMy thanks to Granta for an ARC via NetGalle. Woman’s final momentsBrilliantly constructed and achingly tender The Divers’ Game shatters the notion of common decency as the binding agent between individuals forcing us to consider whether compassion is intrinsic to the human experience With his signature empathy and ingenuity Jesse Ball’s latest work solidifies his eputation as one of contemporary fiction’s most mesmerizing talents.