Welcome to my regular Thursday feature, Turning off the TV! In this feature I recommend books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both series and specific episodes.
The film this week is: The Island.
A man goes on the run after he discovers that he is actually a “harvestable being”, and is being kept as a source of replacement parts, along with others, in a Utopian facility.
I first watched this film in Year 10 Biology at school, when we were studying cloning. Which obviously means it’s totally scientifically accurate and highly academic. Yeah. In reality it’s an action packed and explosive (well it is directed by Michael Bay…) film about two people who discover their lives are a complete lie. The utopian community they believe they live in is in fact a medical facility to house clones – clones harvested for organs when their ‘owners’ are ill. It may not be the best film out there, but it’s always been one I’ve really enjoyed. Plus it has Sean Bean!
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a similar tale to The Island – narrated by Kathy and following the lives of her and two of her friends, the teenagers discover that their ‘special school’ is in fact a home for people created purely for organ harvesting. It’s a bleak tale, and has none of the flashiness and explosions of The Island, which makes it even more heart-breaking. Although I didn’t find it as enjoyable a read as I expected, I would definitely recommend it for fans of The Island because of the very similar subject matter. It has also been adapted into a film version, with Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield.
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Although it doesn’t feature human clones in the same way as The Island, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? always reminds me of it, giving off the same sort of bleak and desolate vibe. In this world, androids have become so advanced that it is almost impossible to tell them apart from humans – one of the only ways is to submit the suspected android to something called the ‘Voight-Kampff test’, which tests empathy and reaction times. Whilst the androids may not be human beings, they are shown as being incredibly close – and are persecuted and controlled for this very reason. This book has also been adapted into a film, known as Blade Runner.
Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1) by Neal Schusterman
Apart from the cover of Unwind by Neal Schusterman unfortunately reminding me of The Human Centipede, it sounds like an interesting premise. In this dystopia, parents have so much control over their children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen that they can choose to donate their children’s organs to those in need. This is known as unwinding, and technically keeps the child alive, making it a very extreme form of punishment for a misbehaving teenager…