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Theory of Bastards

af Audrey Schulman

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1888145,442 (3.91)11
"Stage four. Surgery. Recovering." While those are the simple words that once described Dr. Francine Burk's situation, the reality is much more complex. Her new reality is feeling unduly thrilled by her increasing ability to walk across a room without assistance. And it's being offered a placement at a prestigious research institute where she can put to good use her recent award money. With the Foundation's advanced technological resources and a group of fascinating primates, Francine can begin to verify her subversive scientific discovery, which has challenged the foundations of history--her Theory of Bastards. Frankie finds that the bonobos she's studying are as complex as the humans she's working alongside. Their personalities are strong and distinct, and reigning over it all is Mama, the commanding matriarchal leader of the group. Frankie comes to know the bonobos and to further develop her groundbreaking theory with the help of her research partner, a man with a complicated past and perhaps a place in her future. And then something changes everything, and the lines that divide them--between subject and scientist, between colleague and companion--begin to blur.… (mere)
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» Se også 11 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
This is a post-apocalypse novel with a lot of anthropology thrown in. I read it on the recommendation of a podcast host. It really isn’t my genre. ( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
What a haunting book. It's part science-fiction, part romance and part apocalyptic. The ending seemed to resonate with me, even though it didn't answer every question or wrap things up neatly. ( )
  EZLivin | Jul 4, 2023 |
In an increasingly fragile world, a researcher arrives at one of the last sanctuaries for apes and starts studying bonobos in order to further her theories about female sexual selection. She’s also recovering from surgery from endometriosis, the pain and medical neglect of which is described in detail. And she is navigating her own recovering body and her sexuality, including her relationship with the initially offputting but increasingly attractive researcher assigned to support her work. After a dust storm cuts them off from the rest of the world, things get pretty scary; the ending is ambiguous at best but it’s sf of feminist ideas in terms of the questions it considers important (especially: what does choice mean when we have these bodies evolved in specific ways?) and I found it engaging despite the terrible romance-novel cover it has on Scribd, which was staring at me every time I opened it. ( )
  rivkat | Jun 28, 2023 |
@20% I'm definitely questioning why I am reading this. I can't remember why/how it got on my radar. A researcher who is slowly becoming more mobile while recovering from surgery is observing monkeys that have sex before eating. They have sex with whatever monkey is next to them. Something about reducing confrontation in the wild. But this goes against the grain usually we mate with the strongest, prettiest etc...
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Alright that's it. I started skimming at 26% which means I'm gonna let it go.
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I have no idea how to summarize why I quit....
We have a couple different timelines. The MC growing up in a family that didn't share anything emotionally while she was suffering chronic pain from endometriosis, so we are learning about what made her who she is. And the current timeline which has some weak SF elements of eye lenses that probably replace our cell phones. At least the parts we use to read information. And her doing her research, observing the monkeys.

There were no quotes used around dialogue which is whatever but definitely not normal and took some getting used to.

At a quarter way through the book I have more of an idea who the MC is, the supporting character is and what is up with the monkeys but I don't want to spend anymore time with them. I started skimming when she started analyzing the TV commentators. It's like a lesson about stuff I'm not interested in. Reading through reviews, I'm fine with letting it go. ( )
  Corinne2020 | Jan 20, 2023 |
Francine "Frankie" Burk, an evolutionary psychologist, has taken a research position at a midwestern institute to study bonobos vis a vis her hypothesis of a "Theory of Bastards," her theory about the benefits of having a lover's baby, rather than your husband's. She is studying the sex habits of the bonobos, attempting to discover whether the females make different choices of sexual partners during their fertile periods than during their non-fertile periods.

I really liked the first part of this book describing Frankie's efforts to gain the bonobos' trust, as well as her observations of their behaviors. In fact, there is a lot of information about factual scientific research regarding bonobos which is very interesting. But then, about half-way through the book, it morphs into a climate change apocalyptic novel. A huge dust storm comes up which destroys all technology. The institute is cut off from the rest of the world (whatever remains of it) and Frankie and her research partner must figure out how to feed the bonobos, and how to survive in a catastrophically changed world. I wasn't expecting this, although perhaps I should have been since the novel won a couple of science fiction literary awards.

3 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Oct 27, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
(starred review) Schulman’s vision of the future is powerful and strange, but it is less a commentary on society’s dependence on technology than a propulsive story rooted in a future that feels possible. The incorporation of research into the narrative is seamless, and the result is an astute, impeccable page-turner readers will savor.
tilføjet af karenb | RedigerPublishers Weekly (Feb 19, 2018)
 
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"Stage four. Surgery. Recovering." While those are the simple words that once described Dr. Francine Burk's situation, the reality is much more complex. Her new reality is feeling unduly thrilled by her increasing ability to walk across a room without assistance. And it's being offered a placement at a prestigious research institute where she can put to good use her recent award money. With the Foundation's advanced technological resources and a group of fascinating primates, Francine can begin to verify her subversive scientific discovery, which has challenged the foundations of history--her Theory of Bastards. Frankie finds that the bonobos she's studying are as complex as the humans she's working alongside. Their personalities are strong and distinct, and reigning over it all is Mama, the commanding matriarchal leader of the group. Frankie comes to know the bonobos and to further develop her groundbreaking theory with the help of her research partner, a man with a complicated past and perhaps a place in her future. And then something changes everything, and the lines that divide them--between subject and scientist, between colleague and companion--begin to blur.

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