This book is a masterpiece of modern times. I can honestly say no other has ever made me feel the way it has.
The plot: This is the story of Dr John Klaessen and his wife Naomi. Having lost their 4 year old son Halley to a rare congenital disease, they are presented with the opportunity to genetically alter an embryo so that it will be rid of virtually all things bad, as well as the power to adjust physical characteristics and even emotions. It would take all of their money and more.
What would you do in their position? If you agreed, exactly how much would you adjust your unborn child?
Writing: The prose is very engaging. The author takes his time describing the characters, but never to a point where it gets dull. As the book progresses, we get to know this couple quite deeply. Their struggles, their desires, their predicaments… And their utter terrors. Some scenes are absolutely chilling. Everything is described to a point where you feel like you’re in the story and you’re the one being stared at in such a terrifying manner. It chills you to the bone.
The fact that the chapters are short makes the book even easier to read, in my opinion. And even though it is mostly a narration, sometimes we are presented with characters’ vents, particularly Naomi in her diary. It has a fast enough pace and you can’t help but keep turning each page.
Positives: Even though the premise seems quite sci-fi, the author made sure every single thing was believable and he built characters you can’t help but relate to. Especially in the first 50 pages or so of the book, you find yourself thinking you would be going through the same dilemmas as them and reacting in a very similar manner.
Another thing that pleased me deeply was that this book was not in the least predictable. Just when I thought it could no longer baffle me, it took my breath away for the hundredth time.
The negatives: Sometimes I felt like I was in a rollercoaster, as in, sometimes I felt the suspense might give me a heart attack and other times it felt like it dragged on a bit. But I don’t think any of it was unnecessary.
I would have like to see how Timon found out where the Klaessens lived better explained.
I can see why the parents strike people as being overly naive, but I can also see the other side of the picture. Hope is very powerful. So is love. Some people think that is all it takes.
Conclusion: This extremely powerful book made me feel curious, appalled, happy, excited, frustrated, scared, sad and absolutely terrified. There were times when I actually could not sleep after reading. Perfect People is disturbing, thought provoking, terrifying and everything a thriller should be. The suspense is palpable and it simply will not let you put the book down.
You should read it at least once in your life. And, if possible, try to read it when, as myself, you are on vacation, so you can totally focus on it. That’s what this book deserves. Not that you skim through it but that you completely immerse yourself in the story. You will not regret it.
Read from August 21 to 24, 2014
Review posted on Aug 24, 14