AmatkaA Surreal And Shockingly Original Debut Novel Set In A Dystopian World Shaped By Language LiterallyVanja, A Government Worker, Leaves Her Home City Of Essre For The Austere, Wintry Colony Of Amatka On A Research Assignment It Takes Some Adjusting People Act Differently In Amatka, And Citizens Are Monitored For Signs Of SubversionIntending To Stay Just A Short While, Vanja Finds Herself Falling In Love With Her Housemate, Nina, And Decides To Stick Around But When She Stumbles On Evidence Of A Growing Threat To The Colony And A Cover Up By Its Administration, She Begins An Investigation That Puts Her At Tremendous RiskIn Karin Tidbeck S Dystopic Imagining, Language Has The Power To Shape Reality Unless Objects, Buildings, And The Surrounding Landscape Are Repeatedly Named, And Named Properly, Everything Will Fall Apart Trapped In The Repressive Colony, Vanja Dreams Of Using Language To Break Free, But Her Individualism May Well Threaten The Very Fabric Of Reality Amatka Is A Beguiling And Wholly Original Novel About Freedom, Love, And Artistic Creation By An Idiosyncratic New Voice Less

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➸ Amatka Download ➿ Author Karin Tidbeck –
  • Hardcover
  • 224 pages
  • Amatka
  • Karin Tidbeck
  • Swedish
  • 15 September 2019

10 thoughts on “Amatka

  1. says:

    So I thought this was excellent but I m not sure how widely I d recommend it It s a quiet, odd, unsettling dystopian novel my first from Swedish author Karin Tidbeck that opens up questions than it answers Pair this with the ambiguous ending and I can easily see why some readers might feel dissatisfied.I actually really liked it, though I found it an extremely atmospheric novel the greyness, the loneliness, the constant sense of wrongness about everything On the back of the Vintage paperback, Matt Bell praises the author s imagination as being fiercely strange , which I think is a fitting description of the whole book The story opens on a train, with government worker Vanja travelling to the colony of Amatka to do some consumer research on hygiene products Vanja is assigned a household through a lottery, which is where she meets Nina, as well as two other housemates called Ivar and Ulla Straight away, there s this feeling behind everything that something is not quite right This feeling never goes away.More strange things surface The importance of language and naming things is a central theme, with all objects requiring labelling in order to maintain the very fabric of reality As Vanja digs a little deeper, she notes the barrenness of the library of texts missing their ending The cold emptiness of this world is given moments of warmth by the burgeoning relationship between Vanja and Nina.What emerges is an examination of a society of complete social equality, of communal living and strict adherence to rules that benefit the group as a whole, sometimes at the expense of the individual My takeaway was that when we are all reduced to the same, treated the same, as one part of a whole, we become little than atoms Pliable and interchangeable I suppose this is a critique of the kind of extreme socialism that cannot end well I think Maybe It s not actually easy to tell whether this world is better or worse than the alternatives Which is perhaps the most unsettling thing of all.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

  2. says:

    That was weird Seriously weird, but oddly fascinating, but with an ending I found unsatisfying My thoughts are all over the place for this one, so here they are first in list format and then a bit elaborated.Pros World buildingAtmosphereMoodPacingCons CharactersProseConclusion.Set in the not specified future on a I assume different planet, this books reads very much like a classic dystopian novel in the style of Ray Bradbury or George Orwell The main character, Vanja, arrives in Amatka with the order to do some kind of market research on hygiene products as commercial production has been legalized and her employer wants to know how to sell stuff to this colony As she falls in love with her housemate Nina, she decides to stay in this barren place even though things seem odd to her The main premise is stunning in its originality at least it is to me things have to be named repeatedly and be marked because otherwise they dissolve into some kind of goo so a table has a sign saying table , doors are labeled door and so on Citizens have to be constantly vigilant lest they lose important possessions This makes for an interesting social structure where nothing is permanent and in reaction everything is rigid and unchanging Karin Tidbeck uses this disorienting juxtaposition to paint a very vivid picture of the world she created I absolutely adored this part The characters on the other hand never truly came alive for me Their reactions are always left mostly unexplained and I had a hard time connecting with them Especially the love story between Vanja and Nina made very little sense to me and I never understood what they liked about each other and what made Vanja especially abandon her previous life with hardly any second thoughts.Ultimately, I think this book works best if you study it and analyse it and discuss it with others There are so many layers that could be talked about and so much to think about, that a casual reading does not do it justice As it stands, it kept me at arm s length and I never felt fully engaged with the characters.___I received an arc of this book curtesy of NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing in exchange for an honest review Thanks for that

  3. says:

    A trippy, hopelessly empty ish world populated with people seemingly shambling through their lives without purpose and, mostly, dignity They get words and goop, if they misuse the words.Very reminding of Zamuatin s We, of Orwell s 1984 Though, this one was libeerally sprinkled with feminist and diversity vibes And, it felt a lot depressing than the prototypes I sort of want to unread this novel Sadly, I can t.Q Is there something behind the gray of our sky c Q I m thinking I might take the gag off, Vanja Otherwise it ll be hard for us to talk c Q We re a finite population in a world we don t really understand We struggle endlessly to maintain order That struggle entails a society with strict rules c Q Pencil pencil pencil pen cilpen cilpen cilpen cilpen cilpen The last pencil in the row shuddered As Vanja bent closer to look, the shiny yellow surface whitened and buckled Then, suddenly and soundlessly, it collapsed into a pencil shaped strip of gloop Vanja instinctively shrank back Her stomach turned She had done it She had said the wrong name, and the pencil had lost its shape It shouldn t have happened that quickly Pencil, Vanja hissed at the gloop Pencil Pencil Pencil c Q If one doesn t want to have children One waits, and sort of hopes that it doesn t have to happen And then one turns twenty five, and the questions start coming, and they put you in a room with a counselor who explains that it s one s communal duty, and finally one gives in, one goes to the fert unit and shakes hands with some pitiful man who has to masturbate into a cup so the doctors have something to impregnate one with, and one resigns and puts one s feet in the stirrups because one has No Choice c

  4. says:

    This one is a hard one to review without giving away certain discoverable plot twists except to say what a surreal, surreal world.I think it s a mild New Strange Or perhaps it s a hardcore Magical Realism Perhaps it s just a study in what it means to use imagination when surrounded by literalism Maybe it s a whole society built on the necessity of crushing that imagination in all ways Maybe it s a necessity And maybe we re in bizarro commune land brushing its fingertips against 1984.And maybe it s a love story With mushrooms.Like I said, it s hard to describe without giving it all away, and yet it s still a gentle dip into the whole stranger in a strange land, firmly rooted in banality until it s suddenly far, far from banal I enjoyed it It made me scratch my head and just go with the strange Mild strange, slowly getting very, very weird What can I say I likey.

  5. says:

    I didn t think I would like another dystopia any time soon, but here I am This was pretty good I am not surprised to learn this novel was written by a Swedish writer, because the basis of this story is deeply rooted in the pipe dream of perfect socialism, you know, total gender and class equality and adherence to group needs at the expense of individual I am not trying to disparage Scandinavian socialism, I am all for it The dystopia of this world is the theoretical socialism, the type I personally learned from early Soviet movies and fiction filled to the brim with propaganda Even approved poetry in this story reminded me of the Soviet wordsmith Vladimir Mayakovsky The ideal of communal living and sacrificing for the community s good never worked in real life, like it doesn t in Amatka After reading the ending a couple of times it is a tad vague , I am not sure if the revolution was the right choice though not enough information, only time will tell, I guess To me, the science fiction angle wasn t that interesting the alien gloop thing was done better in Solaris , but the depiction of the conflict between personal and societal good is quite stark here As is the power of naming things.

  6. says:

    People often conflate pity with sympathy Both words may refer, superficially, to a feeling of compassion for another s misfortune contextually, they can have radically different uses Sympathy often carries with it some notion of equity it asks that compassion be born of justness, that understanding is earned because it is shared Conversely, pity holds a note of condescension from the pitying, and a certain amount of solicitousness on the part of the pitied Sympathy is meant to strengthen bonds between people pity makes a spectacle of suffering and consolation, dividing us into spectators and subjects, widening the gap.The cardinal sin of Amatka is that it makes its protagonist, Vanja, far pitiable than sympathetic The novel practically sobs her into existence It is one thing to make a character an introvert, and quite another to bludgeon the reader with her reticence, to exhibit her meekness as a demand for empathy But that is exactly what Karin Tidbeck does here The world of the novel is an interesting one, a place where language literally has the power to shape reality, so much so that things must be named repeatedly, or they will lose their form and turn into an ooze of noxious goo As a result, the authorities exhibit an undue amount of control over the behavior of, and by extension the thoughts of, the citizens they police Vanja dreams of a boot free neck, with predictably tragic results.I am usually fully on board for stories where systemic oppression is addressed, but in this case the evil system and innocent victim are codified in such absolute, unsubtle terms that it comes off as a jaundiced, writerly construction rather than a lived in world And lest you think I am mistaken in my estimation of how Vanja and this novel are meant to be read, the ending literally valorizes the woeful fawning of its hero, spelling it out in no uncertain terms It is one thing to nudge a reader s sympathies, and quite another to push them over a cliff.

  7. says:

    This was my first exposure to Tidbeck I knew nothing about her or the book before I started it I had just gone on vacation and when I realized I was reading something rather bleak and Scandinavian I almost put it down It didn t seem like the right fit But there was just enough weirdness in those early chapters to get me to stick around.Dystopia is popular these days, and this is certainly a speculative dystopia But I enjoyed it immensely While reading it I kept commenting about it to my traveling companion, I spent the first third saying how I really didn t know what was happening and I wasn t sure how I felt And then I spent the last third saying whoa it got really good and whoa what is even happening right now It is rare to read a speculative novel that feels like it s doing something different Of course, it also reminded me of a lot of great early sci fi, especially those set on a bleak and sparse Mars, which feels an awful lot like the setting here in Amatka.I don t want to tell you much at all about the society it s set in because finding all that out is part of the joy of reading it And even when you feel like you ve got a pretty good handle on how things are run and you re wondering why you re reading a memo about the ingredients in soap products, you realize that there are a few little things that are just not quite right but you don t really know why yet I kept reading for the answer to that why, and often when I ve read a book that nags at me like that the eventual reveal isn t worth the buildup But not this time That feeling that maybe you ve got this figured out except still maybe not ends up leading to a few pivotal and crucial reveals about the world the book is set in that feel new and deep with meaning.This is also not one of those let s wrap all this up in a big bow novels It will not all be explained It will not all make total sense But the last few chapters leave a searing vision in your mind If you re at all like me you will talk about it for days I really must find Tidbeck.

  8. says:

    Qu maravilla.

  9. says:

    4.5 stars.Currently I m absolutely happy with my picks This was another little jewel Amatka hits all the short story lover, overly explaining hater marks of my darker reader personality.It is bleak, the characters are distant, there is no comfortable hand holding by the author, the end is completely open and certainly confusing So I can see why some readers don t like it For me on the other hand these are all points that speak in favour of a novel Of course there is a thin line between trusting the reader and trusting the reader too much aka, leaving me with the feeling that I didn t get it at all , but Karin Tidbeck stays on the right side of the line.Once I started listening to the audiobook good performace by Kirsten Potter there was no way I could take the earplugs out of my ears again I was sucked into the weird strange world and concept from the very beginning and finished it in one go My mind was racing, trying to fill in gaps in the narration, trying to figure out what was going on All in all it felt like a short story in novel lengthReaders who need a solution to their stories perhaps better stay away from this one Oh and I would recommend to NOT read the summary on GR as so often it gives away too much of the story, which was part of the pleasure for me to figure it out as I went along A novel of a different kind, and one that definitely makes me look up the author for further works.

  10. says:


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