The Resisters
An audacious marvel of a novel about baseball and a future America, from the always inventive and exciting author of The Love Wife and Who's IrishThe time: a not-so-distant future. The place: AutoAmerica. The land: half under water. The Internet—the new face of government—is "Aunt Nettie": a mix of artificial intelligence, surveillance technology, and pesky maxims. The people have been divided, and no one is happy. The angel-fair "Netted" still have jobs and literally occupy the high ground, while the mostly coppertoned "Surplus" live on swampland if they're lucky, on the water if they're not.      The story: To a Surplus couple—he was a professor, she's still a lawyer—is born a Blasian girl with a golden arm. At two, Gwen is hurling her stuffed animals from the crib; by ten she can hit whatever target she likes with a baseball; her teens find her playing happily in an underground Surplus league. When AutoAmerica re-enters the Olympics—with a special eye on beating ChinRussia—Gwen attracts interest. Soon she's at Net U, falling in love with her coach and considering "crossing over," even as her mother is challenging the AutoAmerican Way with lawsuits that will prove very dangerous.     An astonishing story of an America that seems only too possible, and of a family struggling to maintain its humanity in circumstances that threaten their every value—even their very existence.

The Resisters Details

TitleThe Resisters
Author
ReleaseFeb 4th, 2020
PublisherKnopf
Rating
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Sports, Baseball, Adult Fiction

The Resisters Review

  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    The Resisters takes place in a world where most jobs have been eliminated due to automation, the world is flooded thanks to climate change, and America is run by a deranged AI people refer to as Aunt Nettie. We follow the lives of one Surplus family, through the eyes of the husband and father, Grant. (Surplus are those people that were deemed unretrainable when Automation took over, and therefore don't work anymore, but are expected to consume via their Living Points, alotted to them via Aunt The Resisters takes place in a world where most jobs have been eliminated due to automation, the world is flooded thanks to climate change, and America is run by a deranged AI people refer to as Aunt Nettie. We follow the lives of one Surplus family, through the eyes of the husband and father, Grant. (Surplus are those people that were deemed unretrainable when Automation took over, and therefore don't work anymore, but are expected to consume via their Living Points, alotted to them via Aunt Nettie.) The daughter of this family, Gwen, has a golden arm. She can throw hard, fast, and with almost perfect accuracy. Eventually this leads the family to start up an illegal Surplus baseball league.
I was frustrated with this book on multiple levels. I suppose I'll get my big complaint out of the way and tell you there are no chapters, only four parts, and we all know how much I love that...
But most importantly, I could not shake the feeling that this story was told from the wrong person's POV. Grant is largely an observer in all these events that feel like they happen to his wife and daughter. And sure he's a valid character, but I just don't think he was the right character. The plot revolves around Gwen. We are told her story via GreetingGrams (basically letters) that are sent back and forth to her parents in one part and it frustrated me because I wanted to care about Gwen more than I did and couldn't because of this distance created between her and the reader.
The worldbuilding is vast and detailed, and the author manages to comment on many relevant issues: racism, sexism, politics, climate change, privacy.... but again, Grant is largely unaffected by many of them, given his removal from much of the action. It just didn't feel like effective commentary to me.  It's Gwen that experiences what it's like to be one of two female players on a high performance baseball team, Gwen that attends a university where she is the only person of color thanks to a process called "PermaDerming" (bleaching your skin, basically).
As far as plot and pacing go- this is a character driven book, and most of the action is saved for part four. Most of the characters are likable (except for one whose personality was all over the place).  Most of the book is slow and there were several times I wanted to DNF.  I did become more invested around the halfway mark, as Gwen's story picks up, but a lot of it was just too slow for my taste.
Finally, the ending was really a disaster for me.  I think in America we expect stories about baseball to be uplifting, and while some of the games had the powerful feeling, the ending is ruined by some very dark events that take place and don't really seem to fit the tone of the rest of the book.
Overall I had very mixed feelings.  If you are interested in the dystopian aspect, I recommend reading it with a buddy so you can pick it apart and bounce ideas off each other.  If you are interested in the baseball (I was not) then go ahead and give it a try.  You might enjoy this more.
Thank you to the publisher for sending a review copy.

    more
  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    Baseball isn’t my thing, to watch, but I read a lot of novels and non-fiction where baseball and its players are featured: Empty seats by Wanda Adams Fischer, See No Color by Shannon Gibney, Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes, and Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin had some baseball, too and the fantasy novel Summerland by Michael Chabon. (It seems improbable to me that these two are the only speculative fiction with baseball as a central Baseball isn’t my thing, to watch, but I read a lot of novels and non-fiction where baseball and its players are featured: Empty seats by Wanda Adams Fischer, See No Color by Shannon Gibney, Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes, and Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin had some baseball, too and the fantasy novel Summerland by Michael Chabon. (It seems improbable to me that these two are the only speculative fiction with baseball as a central conceit. Do you know of others? List them in the comments, please.) Here, like Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, it’s a way to explore a dystopia. Gwen’s world is racist, sexist, clifi, people receive a basic income, are fed unhealthy food, are spied on constantly, the population of AutoAmerica is divided into the Surplus, like Gwen’s family who live in a house, but most of the neighbors live in house boats. The Netted have jobs and homes, can go to university, are made to look white and blond. Gwen was born with a golden arm, her parents find a way for her to play baseball, illegally. When the government needs her gifts to play: they send her to university, then the Olympics. Her coach calls her a female Satchel Paige. She has to research who that is. Like Station Eleven, this is a hopeful dystopian novel, because it takes place when people are finding ways to do more than survive; they learn to thrive and resist. Recommended by Suzanna Hermans at Oblong Books on 2/4/20 on WAMC. Borrowed from my public library.
    more
  • Fredrick Danysh
    January 1, 1970
    Gwen is a girl that has an amazing pitching arm since birth. Set in a world controlled by artificial intelligence and climate, society is divided into the haves and have-nots. Many of those who have been placed in the lower class by the artificial intelligent computer that controls their lives find small ways to circumvent the rules. This was a free review copy obtained via Goodreads.com.
    more
  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    It took me about 50-60 pages to really get into this novel, but then I couldn’t get enough. The story is creative and it touches on many relevant political/societal/cultural themes — at times more subtly than others. Overall, I’m glad I picked this one up.
    more
  • Cia Mcalarney
    January 1, 1970
    To say this book is amazing sells it short. The dystopian vision of the future here, is all too plausible -- centered on climate change, the rise of AI and class segregation. Yet the plot, centered on a family of resisters, is hopeful and compelling.Couldn't put it down. Literally woke up in the middle of the night to finish the last few pages because I couldn't get it out of my mind.Resistance, family, hope and, oh yes, baseball!
    more
  • Wendy Cosin
    January 1, 1970
    I read half of The Resisters before putting it down. It is the USA in the “near future” when everything you imagine could be bad about the Internet, AI, climate change and race/class divides is happening. There wasn't anything particularly surprising about the Internet//AI part of this vision of the future, but the way people lived in a world divided between land and water was interesting, as was the creation of a "Surplus" class of people who receive a minimum stipend to live, but are not I read half of The Resisters before putting it down. It is the USA in the “near future” when everything you imagine could be bad about the Internet, AI, climate change and race/class divides is happening. There wasn't anything particularly surprising about the Internet//AI part of this vision of the future, but the way people lived in a world divided between land and water was interesting, as was the creation of a "Surplus" class of people who receive a minimum stipend to live, but are not permitted to work.The voice is that of a “Surplus” father and it is about his family, especially his daughter who is a baseball pitcher whiz. Maybe it would have helped if I liked baseball. I appreciated how the daughter experienced her interactions in college with the "Netted" (white, upper class) students and, if I had continued reading, her character would have deepened as she explored her options to "cross over”, however, the writing didn't keep me going. Regardless, I'm sure there are people who would enjoy The Resisters as a quick read about a future that may not be as dystopian as it seems.I received a free Uncorrected Proof prior to publication, which is scheduled for February 2020.
    more
  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    “Baseball is theater. You have to plan your moments.”Coach makes the above observation when helping Gwen with her in-game pitching strategy, but his words ring true in a broader context for this delightfully bizarre take on Dystopia.Dystopian is far from my favorite genre, but baseball fiction is one of my most favorite genres, so I decided to give this one a shot. Gish Jen’s lovely New York Times interview also helped me decide to dive in on this one. And I’m so glad I did. While this book had “Baseball is theater. You have to plan your moments.”Coach makes the above observation when helping Gwen with her in-game pitching strategy, but his words ring true in a broader context for this delightfully bizarre take on Dystopia.Dystopian is far from my favorite genre, but baseball fiction is one of my most favorite genres, so I decided to give this one a shot. Gish Jen’s lovely New York Times interview also helped me decide to dive in on this one. And I’m so glad I did. While this book had many plot elements in common with standard dystopian fiction, Jen has some fascinating and original takes on the genre as well. She also writes incredibly well, infusing tension with humor and conveying an important message with refreshing subtlety. And of course, it is so, SO good to read a baseball novel written by someone who seems to truly understand the sport. This is evident in both the fundamental presentation of baseball logic and the game itself as well as in the clever, humorous touches, ranging from the wink-nudge player names to the veiled joke at the expensive of a current issue in Major League Baseball: The “Keep umps human” campaign. I didn’t love the ending of the book, though I suppose many elements of it were far more realistic than what I had hoped for. Regardless, an excellent read overall.
    more
  • James
    January 1, 1970
    "The Resisters is an enjoyable read - smart, and even funny in places. I was lucky enough to be able to catch a Q&A with Gish Jen at the Central Library in Downtown LA this week; her effervescent personality shines through in a novel that, thankfully, isn’t really about baseball much at all. It’s about a parent’s love for a child, and the need to protect them as they head out into the world. It's also about humanity and contains a message that, even if our world is consumed or drastically "The Resisters is an enjoyable read - smart, and even funny in places. I was lucky enough to be able to catch a Q&A with Gish Jen at the Central Library in Downtown LA this week; her effervescent personality shines through in a novel that, thankfully, isn’t really about baseball much at all. It’s about a parent’s love for a child, and the need to protect them as they head out into the world. It's also about humanity and contains a message that, even if our world is consumed or drastically changed, it doesn't mean we have to lose the very essence of what makes us who we are, we always have the power to resist. "Read my thoughts in full at whatjamesread.comFollow @whatjamesread on Instagram here.
    more
  • Geonn Cannon
    January 1, 1970
    2.5This book could have been so good. I was hoping for "A League of Their Own, but make it postapocalypse." I... sort of got it? This is a case of a book being told from the wrong POV. It should have been Gwen's story. It could even have been Eleanor's. It's even dedicated to "the Eleanors I've known." So why is it narrated by the father...? It puts a level of disconnected between the majority of the emotional beats. It gets to the point where the father is just passively spying/reading long 2.5This book could have been so good. I was hoping for "A League of Their Own, but make it postapocalypse." I... sort of got it? This is a case of a book being told from the wrong POV. It should have been Gwen's story. It could even have been Eleanor's. It's even dedicated to "the Eleanors I've known." So why is it narrated by the father...? It puts a level of disconnected between the majority of the emotional beats. It gets to the point where the father is just passively spying/reading long overly-descriptive notes from the daughter because *it should be her story.* It's like if A League of Their Own was told entirely from Tom Hanks' POV, or if The Hunger Games was all Haymitch.
    more
  • Litchi
    January 1, 1970
    Technology has invaded every aspect of everyone’s lives. People’s homes are equipped with semi-required microphones, and all citizens are chipped like animals. The Resisters is the story of a “female Satchel Paige” who just wants to play ball in a society oppressed by technology and capitalism.The summary of the plot had me intrigued. I love science fiction, and I love baseball. Plus, I would get to support an Asian American author by purchasing this book! Unfortunately, none of those qualities Technology has invaded every aspect of everyone’s lives. People’s homes are equipped with semi-required microphones, and all citizens are chipped like animals. The Resisters is the story of a “female Satchel Paige” who just wants to play ball in a society oppressed by technology and capitalism.The summary of the plot had me intrigued. I love science fiction, and I love baseball. Plus, I would get to support an Asian American author by purchasing this book! Unfortunately, none of those qualities could save this book. 

Some say this book is too close to the world we already live in, and there is little joy or hope in diving into an all too familiar place. Though, the oddest part of this book to me was the narrator. Gish Jen missed out on a big opportunity to have this story told through the view of a female pitcher. Instead we get the story of Gwen through the eyes of her father, which feels clunky and unnatural.While The Resisters had big ideas, it only just scratched the surface. It was too ambitious to write a story about technology taking over our lives, family dynamics, being a father and husband, being a mixed race woman playing baseball, mother-daughter relationships, female friendships, and baseball. All of this is smashed into just 300 pages.There are some bright spots in the book here and there, but I found it difficult to get through the whole thing.
    more
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Rating 3.5Thoughts: Overall the idea was really interesting, but the format wasn't really up my alley. I could have used more details as it felt a bit rushed on the backstory and characters so it was really hard to have any real connections.
  • Molly Riportella
    January 1, 1970
    Very good, but unable to finish due to required reading- will go back to.
  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2020/0...All I knew going into this book was a) I like Gish Jen, and b) that is a badass cover and title. So I almost don’t want to say anything else about it so you too can be surprised about where it starts, and where it ends up. Here are some tidbits: a near-future dystopia, race and class struggles, a father watching his daughter grow up . . . and baseball. (I am not a person particularly interested in sports, but Jen makes the baseball pretty compelling.) It's https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2020/0...All I knew going into this book was a) I like Gish Jen, and b) that is a badass cover and title. So I almost don’t want to say anything else about it so you too can be surprised about where it starts, and where it ends up. Here are some tidbits: a near-future dystopia, race and class struggles, a father watching his daughter grow up . . . and baseball. (I am not a person particularly interested in sports, but Jen makes the baseball pretty compelling.) It's great. A/A-.__A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released on February 4th.
    more
  • Bruin Mccon
    January 1, 1970
    It’s impossible to describe The Resisters, a speculative fiction book focused on baseball as...something.TR is about a lot of things at once: conspicuous consumption, climate change, AI, income inequality, automation eliminating jobs, social media, and probably a dozen other topics. It’s about everything. It’s also about nothing, or as it’s referred to in English, “baseball.” That’s right, it’s about a heinously boring sport that I nearly detest. So my review is totally biased in that respect. It’s impossible to describe The Resisters, a speculative fiction book focused on baseball as...something.TR is about a lot of things at once: conspicuous consumption, climate change, AI, income inequality, automation eliminating jobs, social media, and probably a dozen other topics. It’s about everything. It’s also about nothing, or as it’s referred to in English, “baseball.” That’s right, it’s about a heinously boring sport that I nearly detest. So my review is totally biased in that respect.This book is brilliant on the details, although there are so many clever inventions that it is overwhelming to ponder. At the heart of the story is a question about why anyone likes baseball. Sorry, I’ll table my hatred. It’s about how our parents choices, especially those that go against the grain, impact us as children. The politics of the narrator, Grant, and his wife, Eleanor, have caused them to choose to be “Surplus,” a category of “AutoAmericans” (essentially, AI-controlled America) who have no jobs and receive basic income. They are responsible for consuming and rewarded with points the more they do right, mainly consuming, like life is a real-life Reddit profile. Except there’s no prize for accumulating points; the punishment a person get for not having enough points is all the inducement to consume and fall in line that most surplus need. Grant and Eleanor’s daughter, Gwen, grows to be a talented pitcher; it just so happens that AutoAmerica is about to play baseball in the Olympics against ChinRussia. Gwen is recruited to play at NetU, the school for the elite “Netted” who go on to have jobs and live in a less surveilled but more self-promotional world. Gwen doesn’t want to go but eventually gives in. Then she doesn’t want to play in the Olympics so her mother is used as bait to force her to play.While this may all sound complicated, I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the plot. It’s massively complicated. That said, I probably would have given the book a higher rating if it wasn’t about baseball. I think there are other, better team sports that could have been used. Because the Surplus resisters engage in a lot of old school pursuits like knitting, I’m guessing the author chose baseball because there is something very old fashioned about it. It’s a good book but so chock full of plot points and themes that it’s hard to tease them all out. I have no idea how an author dreams up so many original and totally plausible future errors of America society, but it’s pure genius.3.5 ⭐️s.
    more
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher for a free copy to review!In the not too distant future, the country has been taken over by Aunt Nettie (the Autonet), dividing the population into the producing Netted and the consuming Surplus. As a Surplus, Gwen is constantly monitored by her smart home, though she avoids the mild sedatives in the food because her family has their own vegetable garden. She also has a former professor for a father and a revolutionary lawyer for a mother to home school her, but that's Thanks to the publisher for a free copy to review!In the not too distant future, the country has been taken over by Aunt Nettie (the Autonet), dividing the population into the producing Netted and the consuming Surplus. As a Surplus, Gwen is constantly monitored by her smart home, though she avoids the mild sedatives in the food because her family has their own vegetable garden. She also has a former professor for a father and a revolutionary lawyer for a mother to home school her, but that's not the only way she's different: she has a golden arm.The writing in this novel is delightfully polite and satirical and often funny as we see Gwen join the Underground Baseball League and eventually get invited to attend Net U so she can play baseball at the college level (baseball being newly rediscovered, mainly because AutoAmerica wants to beat ChinRussia in the Olympics). The choice of narrator was the biggest struggle I had with this story - even though the story is focused almost entirely on Gwen, the only voice we hear is her father, Grant. This becomes an issue when Gwen is at school the whole middle third of the book, pushing the action offstage. I found it very disconnecting to just be reading her letters home.But despite that odd narrative choice, the world Gish Jen creates is both complex and harrowing, made palatable by a quirky plot and some genuinely hopeful and admirable characters. I think you'll like this if you're into cutting, almost philosophical, novels that explore the slippery slope of things like AI, automation, and climate change.
    more
  • Jennie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. A really interesting book, definitely worth reading because it has some interesting things to say. Not quite 4 stars because the narrative had pacing issues and the age gap between two of the characters in a relationship squicked me out.
  • John
    January 1, 1970
    Um. No. Much too didactic. A screed. A Jeremiad. Not really a novel.
  • Melissa Rochelle
    January 1, 1970
    I do not like baseball. I never watch it. But I love to read about it. In a distant future America where AI and the Internet have taken control and created two classes-the netted and the surplus-we follow Gwen and her family. Gwen is a pitching prodigy, so her family starts an underground league to give Gwen a chance to really practice her skills and give their Surplus neighbors something to look forward to. Aunt Nettie (aka Autonet, aka all-powerful super computer in charge) discovers Gwen’s I do not like baseball. I never watch it. But I love to read about it. In a distant future America where AI and the Internet have taken control and created two classes-the netted and the surplus-we follow Gwen and her family. Gwen is a pitching prodigy, so her family starts an underground league to give Gwen a chance to really practice her skills and give their Surplus neighbors something to look forward to. Aunt Nettie (aka Autonet, aka all-powerful super computer in charge) discovers Gwen’s skills and sets out to convince her to play for the Netted in the AutoAmerica Olympics.
    more
  • Amber Stewart
    January 1, 1970
    A great dystopian novel. It is thought-provoking and hard to set down!
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    ** I won a free copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. **While the choice of narrator seems strange (the main character is the daughter who has a 'golden arm' and a rebellious nature (due to being raised by a superfluous ex college professor and a lawyer who spends her time fighting for the underdog) but the narrator is her father who is at best secondary to the action) it does work for this book. The fact that the narrator is a secondary character and that some of the action takes ** I won a free copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. **While the choice of narrator seems strange (the main character is the daughter who has a 'golden arm' and a rebellious nature (due to being raised by a superfluous ex college professor and a lawyer who spends her time fighting for the underdog) but the narrator is her father who is at best secondary to the action) it does work for this book. The fact that the narrator is a secondary character and that some of the action takes place 'off-screen' (especially once the daughter goes off to college) give the book a strange but enjoyable tone. It's like reading the diary of a famous person's relative. The world is a bit odd. It's definitely dystopian but instead of a human government, the world appears to be ruled by AIs. There's no real explanation for this although it seems that a combination of climate change, overpopulation and income disparity played a part in bringing about a world in which an AI could take control and be allowed to take control. The poor are not really poor...they have more than enough to eat and all have places to live but they are actually forced to consume and are punished it they don't consume enough. Because the not-so-poor are charged with production and tend to over-produce and the AI doesn't wish for goods to be wasted. I have to say the world really didn't make sense to me. The poor were all mostly non-white and from lawsuits the main character's mother becomes involved with, the AI appears to be trying to do away with them. But the AI also needs them to use up the products the white upperclass are forced to produce. It's all fairly illogical and rather silly when you actually think about it. However, the book is so well written that these things don't really matter. Baseball is a big part of the story and while I really don't like baseball at all, using it as a form of resistance really does work. All in all, I enjoyed the book even if it didn't make sense some of the time and seemed silly some of the time and featured a sport I really don't care for at all.
    more
  • Tracy Manaster
    January 1, 1970
    Perfect games are rare. Perfect books maybe even more so. This one comes awfully close.To be fair, I am a sucker for two things in literature. The first is a damn good baseball book. The second is a terrifyingly plausible dystopia. And this book? Has both and executes them beautifully. The baseball writing is imbued with enough pure symbol and meaning to hold tension for people who aren’t familiar with the game. It’s detailed enough for students of the game to thoroughly wonk out on but not so Perfect games are rare. Perfect books maybe even more so. This one comes awfully close.To be fair, I am a sucker for two things in literature. The first is a damn good baseball book. The second is a terrifyingly plausible dystopia. And this book? Has both and executes them beautifully. The baseball writing is imbued with enough pure symbol and meaning to hold tension for people who aren’t familiar with the game. It’s detailed enough for students of the game to thoroughly wonk out on but not so much that the uninitiated would be inclined to skim.The dystopia too, is well-rendered, sharpening all the thoughts we carry with ourselves about data and privacy and abundance and excess and how to go through life with vivid purpose. So often, novels like this will fall into the pitfall of the One Bad Man standing in for what’s actually a complex, self-perpetuating, enmeshed society, oversimplifying the narrative and concept of resistance (I’m thinking of Station Eleven and California in particular here). There is none of that in THE RESISTERS, giving us so many lenses through which to view the necessity or resistance. The result is a nuanced, honest book, gracious even in the moments when its characters edge toward collaboration.And also? It’s funny (the voice of Aunt Nettie’s smart house in particular is intrusive and awful but offers such preachy dryness). It’s compassionate (the love between parent and child, between spouses, is so palpable). It’s unflinching in making the ugliness of our current dynamic writ large in this future world (Ship'EmBack and PermaDerming). Yes, there are a few quibbles (the character of Eleanor may be a bit too saintly in spots, the abundance and resources available in a world besieged by climate change seems tad optimistic) but in the face of world where, despite everything, there is knitting and baseball and resistance and joy those hardly register.
    more
  • Lizanne Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars As someone who watches baseball and enjoys dystopian novels, I had high hopes for this book. Set in the near future in a world affected by climate change and controlled by AI, the AutoNet, Gwen is a Blasian girl born with a throwing arm that has so much strength and accuracy the she was destined to be a pitcher. However, in AutoAmerica no one plays baseball anymore. Gwen's family is Surplus in a world divided into Surplus (forcibly unemployed, living on water or swamp, not white, nor 2.5 stars As someone who watches baseball and enjoys dystopian novels, I had high hopes for this book. Set in the near future in a world affected by climate change and controlled by AI, the AutoNet, Gwen is a Blasian girl born with a throwing arm that has so much strength and accuracy the she was destined to be a pitcher. However, in AutoAmerica no one plays baseball anymore. Gwen's family is Surplus in a world divided into Surplus (forcibly unemployed, living on water or swamp, not white, nor blonde) and Netted (employed, living on land, angel fair, and faithful followers of the AutoNet). Her mother is an attorney known for fighting injustice. Her father is a former college professor. To give Gwen the opportunity to play baseball, they form an underground league for the Surplus. When AutoAmerica reinstates baseball in hopes of beating ChinRussia in the Olympics, Gwen has the opportunity to attend Net University, play baseball for the university team, and possibly crossover to become Netted. In contemplating by lack of enthusiasm for the novel. I came to a few conclusions. More than once, I became confused and had to reread. In particular, Gwen's friend Ondi left me shaking my head and looking back. Gwen's father is the narrator. Yet for a large part of the book she is away. Letters and a listening device contribute to his narrative. This book was slow going for me and somewhat disappointing. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • George Otte
    January 1, 1970
    I saw comparisons of The Resisters with 1984 and even The Handmaid's Tale. Those turn out to be not entirely off base if you can imagine what either one might grow into after being grafted onto The Bad News Bears. In a world ruled by an AI entity called Aunt Nettie, a "Blasian" girl with a golden arm galvanizes her own people, the Surplus, and even a lot of the Netters, the "angelfair" patricians who produce while the Surplus only consume. Resistance on a scale heretofore unseen ensues. On one I saw comparisons of The Resisters with 1984 and even The Handmaid's Tale. Those turn out to be not entirely off base if you can imagine what either one might grow into after being grafted onto The Bad News Bears. In a world ruled by an AI entity called Aunt Nettie, a "Blasian" girl with a golden arm galvanizes her own people, the Surplus, and even a lot of the Netters, the "angelfair" patricians who produce while the Surplus only consume. Resistance on a scale heretofore unseen ensues. On one level this works. You want to see Gwen be the winning pitcher in the biggest of all big ball games. But the resistance she embodies and galvanizes is against what, exactly? Is Aunt Nettie a proxy for the bad buys we love to hate, or just an AI gone off on its own? Is it really smart or really stupid (at least morally)? Does it really even know what it's doing? And we get it: climate change has gotten worse, and so has income inequality and a new tribalism. But this dystopia does't cohere, even in the way it's falling apart, and so it doesn't have the resonance and awful plausibility of books like 1984 and even The Handmaid's Tale.
    more
  • Julian
    January 1, 1970
    It’s as if the author prepared to write this book by Googling a bunch of baseball jargon and then regurgitating every term they learned. Then they took a bunch of emerging technologies and tried to shoehorn them into baseball games, smashing their names together to make utterly ridiculous and twee names like PermaDerm, How’dIDo, HowdHeDo, DoItAgainSam, and GreetingGram, and expecting it to somehow not come off as a complete farce. Then slapping some class inequality on top to make it woke, It’s as if the author prepared to write this book by Googling a bunch of baseball jargon and then regurgitating every term they learned. Then they took a bunch of emerging technologies and tried to shoehorn them into baseball games, smashing their names together to make utterly ridiculous and twee names like PermaDerm, How’dIDo, HowdHeDo, DoItAgainSam, and GreetingGram, and expecting it to somehow not come off as a complete farce. Then slapping some class inequality on top to make it woke, shipping it off to a publisher, and cashing a check.Pitchers who have nothing in their arsenal are called junkballers. This book is as fun to read as rooting for a past-their-prime junkballer just chucking one lifeless fastball after another. Before you know it, it’s 10-0 in the third inning and you wonder who’s the sucker — the pitcher for still playing or you for wasting your time.Five stars for trying too hard, one star for trying to tell a coherent story. I spent half of this book wondering if this was supposed to be a satire. I still don’t know the answer.
    more
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a fan of dystopian novels that exaggerate something of our current culture rather than be too sci-fi. The Resistors is about a future of American known as AutoAmerica where Aunt Nettie runs everything. Aunt Nettie is an algorithm that was started by humans and controlled by them until ‘she’ became too smart.Now they have two classes of people, the Netted and the Surplus. There are a LOT of terms in this book. And I’m giving it and withholding the last one because I needed a WiKi or I’m a fan of dystopian novels that exaggerate something of our current culture rather than be too sci-fi. The Resistors is about a future of American known as AutoAmerica where Aunt Nettie runs everything. Aunt Nettie is an algorithm that was started by humans and controlled by them until ‘she’ became too smart.Now they have two classes of people, the Netted and the Surplus. There are a LOT of terms in this book. And I’m giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and withholding the last one because I needed a WiKi or dictionary to really grasp all of the terms. They were explained in the text kind of; mostly they were used and you were supposed to use context clues to understand.There’s also a huge baseball element in this book. So huge that if you don’t know anything about the sport, I’d recommend staying away because between the new terms you need for the new AutoAmerica and the baseball lingo, you’ll be completely lost
    more
  • Emilie
    January 1, 1970
    A quick and delightful read that will make a first rate movie! Think Hunger Games but with baseball instead of archery. First person narrative from pov of our heroine's father Grant who supports the strong women in his life - his brilliant, quixotic lawyer wife Eleanor and brilliant, athletic pitcher daughter, Gwen. There are good guys and bad guys, although everyone is drawn with compassion and we are given reasons for the behavior of the bad guys, so the characters are not completely A quick and delightful read that will make a first rate movie! Think Hunger Games but with baseball instead of archery. First person narrative from pov of our heroine's father Grant who supports the strong women in his life - his brilliant, quixotic lawyer wife Eleanor and brilliant, athletic pitcher daughter, Gwen. There are good guys and bad guys, although everyone is drawn with compassion and we are given reasons for the behavior of the bad guys, so the characters are not completely cardboard. Many of them, notably our heroine's best friend Ondi, and Gwen's baseball coach Woody have a bit of complexity. The dystopic setting was believable and the ending optimistic. I didn't have to try hard and I didn't have to love baseball. I'm giving it 4 stars because I didn't have to force myself to keep reading in any part of it. Is it great literature? Did it improve my mind? I wouldn't presume to say. But I didn't put it down, and had fun reading it. Enjoy!
    more
  • Stacy
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes I enjoyed this book and sometimes I did not. Part of that had to do with the uneven tone. For the first two-thirds, it felt almost like farce. The characters live in "AutoAmerica," they have evicted all immigrants under a program called "Ship'EmBack" and the underclass is forced to subsist on meals from mall food trucks. It took a turn for the serious in the last third that I wasn't prepared for. However, the ending was very satisfying.Like another reviewer said, I was puzzled by the Sometimes I enjoyed this book and sometimes I did not. Part of that had to do with the uneven tone. For the first two-thirds, it felt almost like farce. The characters live in "AutoAmerica," they have evicted all immigrants under a program called "Ship'EmBack" and the underclass is forced to subsist on meals from mall food trucks. It took a turn for the serious in the last third that I wasn't prepared for. However, the ending was very satisfying.Like another reviewer said, I was puzzled by the author's choice to tell the story from the father's point of view. That required the narrator to be away from the action for much of the book, and a lot was relayed by letters that don't look like any letters I've ever read (for example, quoting dialogue verbatim and at length). But I did appreciate the conceit of baseball, America's pastime, being used to examine what America could become.
    more
  • Aristotle
    January 1, 1970
    "Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying!""There's no crying in baseball!"The NY Times said this was a '1984' for our times.'Don’t dare call this fantasy or science fiction. This is a world all too terrifying, dangerous and real.'I read dystopian books. This just didn't work. The telling of the story was not good plus there was no story to tell.What am i missing?Why is the story of Gwen told through the eyes of her father and not Gwen? I found that clunky and awkward. "Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying!""There's no crying in baseball!"The NY Times said this was a '1984' for our times.'Don’t dare call this fantasy or science fiction. This is a world all too terrifying, dangerous and real.'I read dystopian books. This just didn't work. The telling of the story was not good plus there was no story to tell.What am i missing?Why is the story of Gwen told through the eyes of her father and not Gwen? I found that clunky and awkward.Where's the dialogue? I felt like i was being lectured on the evils of capitalism, Amazon, the corporate world, censorship, have and have nots, blah blah blah.Why did Americans stop playing baseball? Was that explained?I just don't get it. Can someone explain it to me?
    more
  • Alexis
    January 1, 1970
    I don't really know how I felt about this one. There's good material in it, but I'm not sure it all works as a whole.Part of the problem is the setup. She's loaded everything in to her dystopia: a suffocating state, overwhelming surveillance, class divisions, climate change, and racism. Of course, these things interlink, but it's a lot. Gwen comes from a Surplus family, one of the lower class, though her parents are a former professor (now Unretrainable) and her mother is a lawyer fighting the I don't really know how I felt about this one. There's good material in it, but I'm not sure it all works as a whole.Part of the problem is the setup. She's loaded everything in to her dystopia: a suffocating state, overwhelming surveillance, class divisions, climate change, and racism. Of course, these things interlink, but it's a lot. Gwen comes from a Surplus family, one of the lower class, though her parents are a former professor (now Unretrainable) and her mother is a lawyer fighting the system. Turns out she's a great baseball pitcher, and the state can use her. The ideas are good, but the book gets bogged down in jargon--lots of shortenings and abbreviations--and world building. The plot and characters don't get free of it, or their predetermined moral roles.
    more
  • Nelda Brangwin
    January 1, 1970
    The interesting thing about speculative fiction is how it makes us look at our own lives. In AutoAmerica, humans do nothing. Artificial Intelligence handles everything, no thinking required. But in the elite group, the “Netted” there are resisters. And the family in the story resist what is being taken from them. Gwen, the daughter of Grant and Eleanor, is a baseball whiz. She’s so good that she’s pressured to undergo genetic engineering. It bothered me as I read the book how easily people were The interesting thing about speculative fiction is how it makes us look at our own lives. In AutoAmerica, humans do nothing. Artificial Intelligence handles everything, no thinking required. But in the elite group, the “Netted” there are resisters. And the family in the story resist what is being taken from them. Gwen, the daughter of Grant and Eleanor, is a baseball whiz. She’s so good that she’s pressured to undergo genetic engineering. It bothered me as I read the book how easily people were willing to let go of their rights. It’s a very thoughtful book for these political times, and the message is clear, THINK FOR YOURSELF.
    more
Write a review