Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bookworming: Welcome to Mars

Welcome to Mars, Ken Hollings, **
Well, this is an odd duck. It is a book about the influence of science and politics on the popular culture of the late 1940s and the 1950s. Or perhaps it's the other way around. Structured by time rather than a narrative, Hollings weaves threads throughout from the planned suburbs of the Levittowns through B-movie science fiction, from the post-WWII think-tank of the RAND Corporation to the rise of LSD, into a view of history that reads more like conspiracy theory. It shares this format with the radio program of the same name. Unfortunately what works for a flowing structure on the radio makes for an extremely dense and sometimes difficult to follow read. So in spite of taking a unique view of the history of a fascinating time period in America, I find I can't quite recommend this one. That said, I wholeheartedly recommend the aforementioned radio show (available on iTunes and via archive.org), which shares the density of the book but is a much better fit for the structure.

No comments: