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Book Reviews of The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You

The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You
The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You
Author: Dorothy Bryant
ISBN-13: 9780394732923
ISBN-10: 0394732928
Publication Date: 7/12/1976
Pages: 220
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 15 ratings
Publisher: Random House
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You on + 168 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this novel. The philosophical and ethical concepts are so interesting to contemplate. It's a feminist utopia - this society in the book. I absolutely love reading books that feature feminist utopias. Always so interesting to see how they compare, the similarities, differences, etc.

This one was unique as it was written in first person by a male character. He was an outsider to this society, and it's fascinating to see how he responds to it. Although, I must admit, I did not like the male character ... I did, still, enjoy the entire novel. Which says a lot about how good the writing and plot is.

I read this in one night. Could not put it down, and would definitely recommend it to others.
Bellbird avatar reviewed The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You on + 106 more book reviews
One author's utopic dream, doable if everyone thought the way she thinks people should.
maura853 avatar reviewed The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You on + 518 more book reviews
Mystical utopian "cult classic" from the early 1970s which I found almost impossible to engage with, or enjoy much, except as a period piece. It has some worthy ideas. Worthy ideas, however, don't make a good read ...

Bryant is to be credited for taking the biggest problem with Utopian fiction, and facing it head on -- that, without conflict, without the worm in the apple, or the snake in the Garden of Eden, there really isn't any story. "The Kin of Ata ..." starts with trouble, and "the moment everything changes," as the thoroughly nasty Narrator murders his current girlfriend (one of a long line, that he clearly holds in the deepest contempt), and nearly kills himself in a half-baked attempt to escape the scene of the crime, and the consequences of his actions.

So far, so good! When the Narrator regains consciousness as the "guest" of an odd community of, well, weirdos, he has all kinds of explanations for where he is and how he got there, and, gradually, all kinds of self-centred and destructive plans for escape. For a while, he's the worm, the snake, and there's some conflict and it's not too bad (if, as narrated by the Narrator, a bit leaden).. And then, it all goes wrong as Narrator suddenly, inexplicably sees the light, "gets with the program," and quickly becomes one with The Kin.

And to be honest, that's when it hits the buffers of Utopian societies -- it's utterly boring. Think of the absolutely worst party you can imagine -- boring food, boring clothing, endless boring conversations about nothing in particular ... The guests occasionally hijacking proceedings to perform mindless ritualistic dances, or read their free-form poetry ... Yes, it's that bad. Conflict is so damped down among the Kin that, even when Nasty Narrator attempts to rape one of his hosts, all he gets are mildly cross looks. That'll teach you, Nasty Narrator!

But what really gets to me is the humourlessness of it all -- an absurd situation, in which no one is allowed to acknowledge or play with its absurdity: The Kin, we are told, are obsessed with their dreams, and endlessly compare notes on their dreams. But when (the gradually rehabilitated) Narrator tries to join in, "... I told her, 'I dream of apple pie and bogeymen.' She refused to laugh ... and when I laughed, she looked sad.

Yep, no one being allowed to joke about your Utopian community and its oh-so-serious dreams is a real turn-on.

I'm afraid Utopias, particularly this Utopia, are boring. Unless you're a big fan of spacy New Age conversations, and feeding each other mush with your fingers ...
tracymar avatar reviewed The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You on + 407 more book reviews
Fantastic novel about a people who live according to their dreams.
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