This is a dystopia that has refused the name. A place where haunter and haunted pass in the street, eyes locked to asphalt, refusing to recognize one another. There is no escape, no grand revolution to see things coolly on the pedestal of shallow political ideologue. It is a slow, uninformed melancholy, like wandering across a blind old woman pushing a shopping cart down a barren ash-land. A world lifeless in every direction and yet here they are moving, unimpressed, unencumbered because this place is the world as they know, indeed the only place they have ever known.
When you don’t give answers, daring to populate a story with characters that simply accept the world as it is and reject the urge to project the reader’s curiosity onto the story’s characters it is tempting to say this is a book with no small amount of holes. For those who love literature where they can sit like gods, hovering above, all-knowing and pervasive, this will grate like steel on bone. But the fact that these questions are allowed to be ignored, dismissed as not worth considering beyond a single, silent moment, is what gives the horror its strength.
Its mythos hangs like some great fog over the narrative, its moors secluded, knowable, but unrelenting in their wrongness. The monster, the truth it hordes like so much abandoned will, lingers in the background, unsung, creeping through the empty space of each page. It is unknown. Unacknowledged. A whisper from behind you that calls to you, navigates your insides without your permission.
It’s not so bad. No. It’s not so bad here. You see? I’ve always been there, been here.
And so you’ll watch, see love, friendship, the very essence of humanity smoked and tindered by deep, consuming void. It works like an Old God stationed at the costumer service station of your local Target speaking of the corpse-city of R’lyeh, processing your return as the unnatural clicks and whirls of its tongue siphons the oxygen from your blood.
“You have to accept that sometimes that’s how things happen in this world. People’s opinions, their feelings, they go one way, then the other. It just so happens you grew up at a certain point in this process.” ― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go