Friday, February 24, 2006

22. "Divided Kingdom" ~ Rupert Thomson

In the not so distant future, people are separated based on psychological testing. Divided into four groups using the formulas of old medicine - bile, phlegm, blood - and translating the humours into stereotypes - melancholic, sanguine, etc. - Thomson's Divided Kingdom is a compelling look at segregation of mind, of color, of opinion, and very timely.

Like A Handmaid's Tale, the author is taking an initial idea and taking it as far as he can go. In Atwood's case, she took the patriarchal texts of the Bible; Thomson takes Aristotle's four humours and Galen's four temperments.

With marvelous descriptions, mysterious imagery, it is a strange, dreamy read. A little too neatly wrapped up with a bow at the end, yet fantastic. I will probably use this book instead of A Handmaid's Tale in the future.

4.9 out of 5.0 Happy Os.

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