Mark Nykanen‘s Primitive was the first and last ebook I read (for a while). Unfortunately I don’t have a dedicated e-book reader, which meant that the reading process was the equivalent of staring at the computer screen for hours upon hour. I don’t want to repeat this experience, as my necks and eyes got strained a bit. Unless the future holds a Kindle or some other ebook reader for me, I won’t be doing this again.
I was also keenly aware of the contrast between the book’s content and the media I was absorbing it through. After all the major theme of the book was a diatribe against rampant consumerism; showing how people living in industrial society and enjoying its comforts are “raping the planet.” So I or my computer using a lot of electricity just to read a book wasn’t exactly aligned with this idea and it made me self-aware of my action. If that was the author’s goal he succeeded.
The book’s speed, tone and focus kept changing. After a slow start we learn a lot about the principals and methods of the extreme environmentalist group that kidnapped a fashion model and tried to force her to live their way of life. The latter being a combination of neo-primitive (hence the title)–where only tools created by themselves are used, only food they gather, grow or kill is eaten and only objects they made is in their surrounding–and what they call post-industrial. The latter involves using high tech to conduct their PR, including video podcast of the model to share the world their agenda. Later the thriller speeds up with chase sequences, explosions, shooting and at the end a huge, unbalanced battle. These include both the model’s attempts of escape and her daughter’s attempts to fin and rescue her.
I enjoyed both the high speed parts of the book and the environmental exposures. I was happy to see the names of Buckminster Fuller and Gregory Bateson in the book. Hopefully their ideas will spread a little bit more, along with the awareness of what the hidden methane reserves can do to our planet. After all that’s what the Terra Firma, aka Aboland group, or as I suspect Nykanen wanted to point out. It had my attention.
Minor note: towards the end of the book (page 288 and 289) there are two URLs that was supposedly used by the group. However they are unregistered. If you use a URL in a book you better make sure it’s yours and use it for promotion of the book. Not doing so would show that you may not be on the top of your game. (On the other hand the book has a video trailer, put together by the publisher) I am strongly tempted to register them for myself and profit out of it. If I am to do it, I should do it now, before/if the book becomes popular. Neh, I am too lazy.