Apr. 24th, 2011

mackknopf: (Books)

This was one of the books I received as a birthday present on Friday.  Part one of three, it is compelling, gripping, and deeply disturbing.  I do not recommend it unless you want to read what comes across as a waking dystopian nightmare.  Basically, a group of amnesiac teenage boys are trapped in a giant maze and must get out.  It's like being in a Hell, where you're periodically tortured, but you can't find the exit. 

What's worse is it strongly resembles a recurring series of my bad dreams where I'm trapped in a world by myself or with a few friends, steadily losing them as I advance.  I often end up alone.  Every time I get close to being free, it turns out to be an illusion.  This usually resolves by either a confrontation with some monster (the Devil, demons, zombies, you name it), death in the dream (semi-permanent), or waking up. Occasionally I rise to consciousness, then fall back into sleep and the dream resumes.  To avoid that, I have to take some serious steps to get to a full waking state (like showering, taking my medicine, actually leaving the bed, etc.).

Avoid at any cost.  This should have been labeled a horror book, not Young Adult.  Now I have fresh material for my subconscious to process and return to me, unfortunately.  Those dreams of mine do resemble the gnostic concept of breaking through successive illusions (example: "The Matrix" series of movies).  Christianity and some versions of Buddhism have hells in them, too.  However, I don't particularly believe in Hell as a place of punishment.  I was raised Episcopalian (which doesn't dwell much on Hell), not Baptist, so I'm not sure where those dreams are coming from.  The author of The Maze Runner, however, does reveal why the kids are in this maze.  It's a grim revelation and sets up what happens in the next two books, which I won't be reading.
 

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