Sunday, April 30, 2017

Boys Aren't Wanted Here

First of all, Every Heart a Doorway is a YA book being published as an adult one.  But that doesn't really bother me.  It has a promising premise--that misunderstood children have often visited other worlds, and they have problems adjusting when they come back to this world.  Enter Miss Eleanor West, who runs home for wayward children, and who recruits specifically those children whom she recognizes as having visited  other worlds.  But according to the author, such children are "overwhelmingly" girls, and here begins the unfortunate PC thread that spoils this book completely.  The main character, Nancy, quickly labels herself asexual, and the first boy she meets, Kade, turns out of be trans (formerly a girl).  And we get occasional comment about gender dystopia and even sex with corpses ("corpses are incapable of offering informed consent, and are hence no better than vibrators").  The problem with all this is that it is just politically correct window-dressing. It's as objectionable here as when done from the opposite politically-incorrect perspective.  The problem is, basically, that none of this has any depth with regard to the story, and it all sticks out like the extraneous propaganda that it is.  The reason given that so few boys are to be found at the school is breezily dismissive, cliched and stereotypical: "They're too loud, on the whole, to be easily misplaced or overlooked; when they disappear from the home, parents send search parties to dredge them out of swamps and drag them away from frog ponds."  This anti-male attitude runs throughout the book. I don't want to read anything else by this author.

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