I read Drew Magary’s The Hike a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised by how detailed, rich, and more than anything how funny it was. It felt very tacked together for the most of the first half or so, like he was making it up as he went along, but toward the end it felt more and more structured.
But with this novel, I was worried that because the concept was so conceit driven, ala a Twilight Zone episode or something like that that it was going to work even less. But I dived in.
The plot of the novel is that humanity stumbles upon the cure to aging, through a gene manipulation medication that causes one’s body to no longer grow older. So we follow along John Farrell, who is an early adopter. He visits a doctor, who tells him the cost, the implications, and mandates the two week waiting period. When he returns from the treatment, he tells his roommate who goes and gets the treatment, and who is subsequently killed in a terrorist bombing.
I should have known before that this novel was clearly something more and different than I thought because of how the novel opens telling us that it’s been curated together from an edited collection of voice files recorded by John Farrell, and how was simply a representative voice of the generation, not the central figure of anything.
It turns out that when humanity becomes immortal (and this is important to distinguish — no aging — but still accidental death, violence, disease, entropy etc) they lose all that makes them human.
This was surprisingly good and felt a lot like 1970s sci fi ala Joe Haldeman or Larry Niven.