Into the Void by Emma Stein

mediakit_bookcover_into_the_void
Into the Void by Emma Stein
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Genre: Historical, Satire
Length: Full Length (215 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Review by Rose

The country of Anglina is teeming with social upheaval, and its officials have found an unlikely national hero in a philosopher and social activist named Horace. The Anglinian government has appointed the effeminate, irreverent, and stubborn scholar to undertake a journey around the world to learn the secret of other countries’ success. Unfortunately for Horace, most of the societies he visits turn out to be drastically different from what he expected, and he repeatedly sends scathing but witty reports about his travels and the people he encounters. At the end of his journey, Horace encounters a series of communes whose inhabitants welcome him into their ranks and open his eyes to more a liberal and egalitarian way of life.

Into the Void is a very interesting book—consisting of letters from Horace to Addie detailing Horace’s visits to the different areas around Anglina to see if there is anything he can learn that will help clear away the rot that is present in their own land.

Each of his letters can be seen as satirical commentary on our own ways of living. In this it reminds me very much of Gulliver’s Travels. Where Swift examined governments, Stein puts human relationships and ways of living under the microscope.

The letters are interesting in themselves and, even though I’m not normally one to re-read books, I think I will make an exception here. I am interested in rereading several of the letters to dig a little deeper into the meaning behind it.

In addition to the foibles of the human condition that Stein provides, the letters also give us insight into Horace and his relationship with Addie that was quite interesting to discover.

Good job, Ms. Stein. A masterful achievement!

Comments

  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Emma Stein says:

    Yes, thank you very much for hosting.

    I live in Germany and will react to posts as much as possible, but due to the time difference, there will come a time when all is quiet on the Eastern front.

  3. Perceptive review above. The satire is as much about contemporary idiocies as it is about historical idiocies. And Horace is an interesting character and, given enough time to reveal his vulnerabilities, a sympathetic one.

    • I agree about the review. I probably would have him stay in fewer places but address them in greater depth if I wrote the book now. Sometimes I feel I had too much of an agenda back then–too much to take care of.

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