Joss Sheldon’s outstanding dystopian novel “Individutopia” makes the reader think twice about the 21st century cult to individualism and shows what it would be to live in an I-person world.
The book is set in 2084 which immediately makes us think of Orwell’s “1984” but in contrast to the dystopian classic where individualism and independent thinking are persecuted, in Sheldon’s Individutopian world the famous Margaret Thatcher quote has become a reality: “There really is no such thing as society” and individualism is the norm.
People have stopped communicating and speaking to each other, they don’t collaborate, they only compete. Individuals exist in something resembling a soap bubble – all days look alike and are repetitive, the insignificant is considered important and it seems that there is no going out of this vicious circle. Loneliness and suicide have become the norm.
The main hero – Renee Ann Blanca, reveals the author’s skill at masterful characterization. Renee and the transformation she goes through in the novel are a source of hope that mankind will not be lost forever in a vortex of insignificant tasks.
After “Money Power Love” I have become a Joss Sheldon fan. I enjoyed reading his new novel “Individutopia” and am happy to recommend the book to other readers! It was not only a great read, but made me think of what modern society places highest value in. Figuratively speaking the book gives a fresh look beyond our individual soap bubbles.