Book Review: Future Perfect by Tony Bayliss

Look familiar?

I’m not sure why this book struck such an emotional chord with me. Perhaps its because I’m a woman. Or perhaps because I read news stories about women in other cultures, and some in the U.S., that endure some of the brutality that is found in this book. Either way, it is a remarkable book.

Here is my review on amazon.com:

Think about all of the really BAD parts of the major organized religions, we’re talking evangelical Christianity, Mormonism, Judaism, Islam, Catholicism. The subjugation of women, rules about sex, marriage, the denial of all things scientific. The rejection of the modern medical system. The worship of church elders, the belief that they are gods on earth. The literal interpretation of a “holy book” and using its basis as law. Honor killing. Arranged marriages. Polygamy. What if you blended all of those ideals together with a dash of 1984 and a heaping spoonful of the ideology of Nazi Germany? And then garnished it with technology 100 years in the future?

That is this book.

It truly frightened me, as I live in the Bible belt and I can actually see this book come to fruition if certain sects were allowed to flourish unchecked in society.

A theocracy that encourages society to report on its citizens. Encourages children to spy on their parents. That views women as only good for two purposes, and classifies them as such starting at age 12. Compulsory church attendance, “Eyes” that can notice hormone changes, expressions that can indicate subversive activity and that hears all as well.

“Apostles” that are nothing more than the S.S. in Nazi Germany.

And the women. The hate of women in this society. From the Christians and original sin, to mikvas with Jews and to burkas with the Taliban, kick it up a notch with this society and add in an element of slavery for both the wives and “earthangels” (you have to read it to believe it).

Abel is a dutiful civil servant that works for the Diocese. He keeps his head down, he “toes the line”, he does what is expected of him as a man of his age and class. But he has questions.

His life changes when he meets Lizzie. He is shocked that a woman can speak the way that she does, but is intrigued. Together they work to change their society.

Despite the subject matter, the doom and gloom of it all, I was greatly surprised to find a tender love story underneath.

I am currently recommending this book to everyone I meet. I found it engrossing, I couldn’t put it down. Despite the graphic nature of the sexual/female issues, it brought to light the fact that a society like this is not far off. Everything mentioned, with the exception of the technology, has some basis in reality. Mr. Bayliss just took the next step and wove together an amazing story.

Highly recommended to anyone looking for an intellectual read.

I recently read a non-fiction book about a fundamentalist Mormon sect that wasn’t too far off from this book.  Daughters of Zion: My Family’s Conversion to Polygamy by Kim Taylor was horrifying.  It was completely true and took place in the U.S. and Mexico in the 1970s and 80s.  It actually made my heart hurt, reading about how young women were pressured/brain washed/encouraged into polygamous marriages with older men.  They were encouraged to get pregnant year after year to produce more children for the glory of God.

I also live in the Bible belt.  A few years ago I took my kids to a museum on the campus of UT @ Austin.  The top floor had an exhibit on evolution.  Now, where I come from (the northeast part of the country), evolution is not up for discussion.  It is an established fact.  The argument for evolution ended at Scopes Monkey trial.  Texas, however, is behind the times. In the “guestbook” at the exhibit, there were page after page of notes written by the visitors to the exhibit proclaiming their dismay that an exhibit even mentioning evolution should exist in Texas.  The comments were along the lines of “evolution is blasphemy and goes against the plan of God”.  Scary stuff.

The recent election also highlighted a shift in the view of women by some of those in the right-leaning political parties.  The “legitimate rape” comments, “life begins at conception”, and here in Texas “we are trying to save women from herself” talk (the ultrasound before abortion law) blatantly illustrates how little men think of women in some segments of American society.  Currently the U.S. is #22 in the world with regards to the living standards of women.

So this book will remain with me as I continue to see signs of “Future Perfect” in today’s society.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Books, books and more books!! « The Eclectic Bookworm

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