Welcome To Opine by Matthew Marullo is a hallucinatory journey into the human psyche often confused, but perhaps enlightened. The book is full of metaphors with enough food for thought. The beginning is strangely linear and simple, but the second part is a hallucinating journey that is distressing at times but with ironic and dreamlike cues.
Matthew Marullo compares two opposing realities of a world nine billion years in the future in another galaxy, supported by a utopian vision of Homo Sapiens 2.0. This new human civilization, calling their planet Opine and themselves the Opinions endeavored to expunge selfishness from the human genome.
Through a genetic therapy called the Self Suppressor, the nature of human behavior was altered to tame violent behavior, belligerence and anger but there were side effects as well as normal libido levels were drastically lowered in tandem with the equally dramatic success rate of lowering selfish behavior.
But what happens when Aster Bottlebrush develops a natural resistance to the therapy and feels his biological impulse towards Dianella Corkwood. Would he then represent a threat to the gene pool? Will the Opinions correct this genetic anomaly, or perhaps adapt it, in the interest of regaining a sacrificed part of their humanity? Will Aster succeed in his attempts to reinstate the natural instinct of libido of the ancient world?
Aster's life turns upside down as also his parents and partner as the debate on Self Suppressor rages like wildfire across the society. Through the eyes of the protagonist, we will examine the realities of the ancient world and the new planet with their strengths and weaknesses, leaving the conclusions to us.
The novel is useful to reflect on the limits of the two opposing forms of civilization. Criticism of the modern world? Or maybe a hope in the human ability to live differently as well? The plot develops by interweaving various points of view of two opposing societies but at the same time undermined by common problems, which lie beneath the surface.
Once again, we see the socio-cultural clash between the so-called "liberal" and the so-called "non-liberal". The story is not too long but still showing how the reality of these ideologies "collides" with the reality of every day and of the single individual.
However, the novel does not want to be strictly political and therefore is a good read. With its many lights and its few shadows, Welcome To Opine is a tense reflection on what is and should be between reality and desire, in the vocabulary of Matthew Marullo.
It is a customizable story, of the "choose your own adventure" type, since it is impossible not to compare the great problems and conflicts of the time as the reading progresses with those that the author pointed out more or less openly at the time. Surely that was Marullo's intention, but who knows.
If you're looking for space battles, this isn't the book for you. If you are looking for a visionary novel, a philosophical and sociological model of inspiration, then yes, read it. There is something in this novel that makes it almost a prophetic book, and this something is, in my opinion, that it has captured exactly the ideology that we see thriving today and that would like to take over life and of the way we all think.
We are talking about the idea of eliminating, through a process of simplification, all forms of pain, sacrifice and living on pleasure alone that is easily accessible to anyone. Reality is never clear. Reality is never unique. Reality doubles, multiplies and merges. It confuses us to delude us, it deludes us to confuse us.
The novel is truly unique and original, full of themes. The most present is that of multi-realities, or multi-dimensions. The "true" reality is never taken for granted.
The reader finds themselves thrown into illusions and dreams that are confused with "concrete" reality, but here everything is to excess, so much so that it is difficult to create or follow a logical thread. So much so that it's easy to get lost between the pages and thoughts, remaining at times truly baffled and at times too often lost. Lost in bright but illusory paths.
Colors cover us, shapes merge, metaphors engulf us. The path that Matthew offers us is full of distorting mirrors in which one enters, in which one is swallowed up, in which one swims as if submerged by a world that is not ours. Personally, I think the novel is an easy and essential read for anyone looking for their own science fiction culture. A must for anyone who considers themselves a lover of genre literature.
A wonderful novel, of those who succeed once in a lifetime. A solid, timeless story with a thousand branches. As in life. None ends in a dead end, everything fits together and every detail ends up being quintessential in this adventurous study of truth and freedom.
If you are a lover of a genre of novel imbued with social and political depth, a metaphor and utopia of modern civilization, where the reader is left to reflect on its content once he has finished reading it, this book is to be considered a cornerstone.
The author's style is flowing and dynamic, and this is also maintained in the narrative. In my opinion, with his narrative, the writer intended to communicate a strong appeal for freedom of thought to be granted to all. I loved the ending of the book. Spot on, cold and perfect. It couldn't have ended any other way in my opinion. The book made me think a lot and ends up among my favorites. I can't help but recommend it and lift the imaginary veil.