The Core of the Sun

The Core of the Sun

Book - 2016
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From the author of the Finlandia Award-winning novel Troll: A Love Story , The Core of the Sun further cements Johanna Sinisalo's reputation as a master of literary speculative fiction and of her country's unique take on it, dubbed "Finnish weird." Set in an alternative historical present, in a "eusistocracy"--an extreme welfare state--that holds public health and social stability above all else, it follows a young woman whose growing addiction to illegal chili peppers leads her on an adventure into a world where love, sex, and free will areall controlled by the state.

The Eusistocratic Republic of Finland has bred a new human sub-species of receptive, submissive women, called eloi , for sex and procreation, while intelligent, independent women are relegated to menial labor and sterilized so that they do not carry on their "defective" line. Vanna, raised as an eloi but secretly intelligent, needs money to help her doll-like sister, who has disappeared. Vanna forms a friendship with a man named Jare, and they become involved in buying and selling a stimulant known to the Health Authority to be extremely dangerous: chili peppers. Then Jare comes across a strange religious cult in possession of the Core of the Sun, a chili so hot that it is rumored to cause hallucinations. Does this chili have effects that justify its prohibition? How did Finland turn into the North Korea of Europe? And will Vanna succeed in her quest to find her sister, or will her growing need to satisfy her chili addiction destroy her?

Johanna Sinisalo's tautly told story of fight and flight is also a feisty, between-the-lines social polemic--a witty, inventive, and fiendishly engaging read.
Publisher: New York : Black Cat, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780802124647
Characteristics: 306 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Rogers, Lola - Translator

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c
cindyzhang1
Aug 28, 2016

An amazing dystopian novel that was thrilling to read. I couldn't put it down!

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sspaniolo
Jan 29, 2016

I love books that take you places you did not even think about it going and this book did not disappoint! It had a different, interesting perspective on distopia / utopia themes.

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c
cindyzhang1
Aug 28, 2016

The protagonist Vera is quite clever and intelligent, a trait the futuristic Finnish government considers a flaw in women. Having successfully masqueraded as an airhead eloi for all her life, she struggles with a chili pepper addiction as she searches for her younger sister.

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cindyzhang1
Aug 28, 2016

“Teach me, chile, and I shall Learn. Take me, chile, and I shall Escape. Focus my eyes, chile, and I shall See. Consume more chiles. I feel no pain, for the chile is my teacher. I feel no pain, for the chile takes me beyond myself. I feel no pain, for the chile gives me sight. —Transcendental Capsaicinophilic Society, 'Litany Against Pain'”

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