Read The Method by Juli Zeh Sally-Ann Spencer Online


Mia Holl lives in a state governed by The Method, where good health is the highest duty of the citizen. Everyone must submit medical data and sleep records to the authorities on a monthly basis, and regular exercise is mandatory. Mia is young and beautiful, a successful scientist who is outwardly obedient but with an intellect that marks her as subversive. Convinced that hMia Holl lives in a state governed by The Method, where good health is the highest duty of the citizen. Everyone must submit medical data and sleep records to the authorities on a monthly basis, and regular exercise is mandatory. Mia is young and beautiful, a successful scientist who is outwardly obedient but with an intellect that marks her as subversive. Convinced that her brother has been wrongfully convicted of a terrible crime, Mia comes up against the full force of a regime determined to control every aspect of its citizens' lives.The Method, set in the middle of the twenty-first century, deals with pressing questions: to what extent can the state curtail the rights of the individual? And does the individual have a right to resist? Juli Zeh has written a thrilling and visionary book about our future, and our present....

Title : The Method
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781846554278
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 230 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Method Reviews

  • Lisa
    2019-04-07 23:56

    Mens sana in corpore sano?Well, first of all, define health. Is physical strength and the lack of illness or disability the same as being healthy? Can it be measured, as suggested in this dystopian vision of a society religiously devoted to focusing on perfect appearance and fitness? Is healthy life the solution to our mental instabilities, and can it take on the role as a method to control human interaction? The answer is yes and no. It can, but the "happiness" that is forced upon the human species as a result of the lack of physical pain is as hollow as anything an autocratic system forces down the throat of people without a choice.If you ban all choice, it doesn't matter that the prescribed life is "healthy", it is nonetheless going to poison the human mind which longs to think and act and choose for itself, to find answers to questions it comes up with based on individual experience. There is no system that applies to all people. Period. That is the message of the novel in Orwell's and Huxley's spirit. No religion or method can capture the whole of humanity and turn them into obeying sheep. There will always be some that refuse to act like sheep.BUT!While it is not possible to brainwash a whole community into liking or supporting a system, there are methods within each religion (and any system claiming to own an absolute truth and one exclusive way of living is a religion, offering no diversity or choice, only rules) to enforce its effective survival.The protagonist of this novel, Mia Holl, turns into a dissident when she sees the cracks in the system she has been taught to follow meticulously from childhood. When she discovers the injustice of its method, causing the death of her brother, she turns against her childhood beliefs and starts to oppose what she considered "absolute truth" before. This is a painful, dangerous and unsettling process, and she has to fight the fanatics of the system, whose raison d'être is to defend their belief with whatever methods work. Fake news stories are just the top of the iceberg. If the "method itself" - the religion - is threatened, even the most "progressive" of states will fall back on torture to silence those who refuse to be sheep. Mia can't win. But she can understand:"Nothing ever changes. One system is as good as another. The Middle Ages is not an era. Middle Ages is the name for human nature."And she is a witch - a person stuck between worlds, between the wild and the dominant civilisation, between body and mind, between yes and no, between belief and atheism. She will have to burn. But her civilisation has a sophisticated way of dealing with terrorists or martyrs ("the same thing", as one character puts it). They refuse to give her an audience for her martyrdom. Willing to die for her beliefs, she is forced to live on in her body, while the mind is broken. It is like letting Winston Smith live after he has whispered: "I love Big Brother."Brutal torture. A broken mind in a healthy body.I read this novel on the suggestion of my son, who reads it with his class in school, and I had no particular expectations. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is a lot of food for thought, even though the general idea of a fanatic dystopian system has been told many times before.The obscenity of focusing on bodily perfection is not far-fetched at all, and if the novel had any impact on me on a personal level, it must be the insight into the kind of creature I am myself - an individual sitting on a fence, stuck between embracing my society and cursing it - and the feeling that it is time to celebrate hangovers on Saturday mornings, for unhealthiness is a privilege we can't take for granted. Recommended!

  • ·Karen·
    2019-04-04 01:58

    UnconvincingI have to admit that dystopian visions of a totalitarian future are not high on my list of favourite genres, unless of course it's Orwell, but the very first line of this really got my hackles up:Gesundheit ist ein Zustand des vollkommenen körperlichen, geistigen und sozialen Wohlbefindens - und nicht die bloße Abwesenheit von Krankheit.Health is a state of complete physical, spiritual and social wellbeing - and not the mere absence of disease.Oh bollocks.Health is the absence of disease, no more and no less. You can't be more healthy than healthy. The prologue continues in an overblown, artificially grand sounding declamatory style, which so set my teeth on edge that I immediately googled the purported author, only to find that Heinrich Kremer does not exist, at least not as the author of a treatise on health as principle of governmental legitimisation. He did exist once, as a German inquisitor of the 15th century.Oh, OK, so this is a spoof, I geddit. Unfortunately, it is also the premise for this future world: one in which the health police have taken over and run an over-efficient Nanny state in which any kind of behaviour that might be a risk to health is forbidden, in which the citizens are expected to keep tabs on and report their blood count, sleep patterns, nutrition diary, blood pressure, urine samples, sport profiles etc etc etc.Another admission: I've only read 30 pages, but so far there is no explanation of how we got from here to there. I mean most New World Orders need some kind of previous cataclysm to warrant their existence, something like a world wide war, or a devastating environmental disaster, disease, pestilence, whatever. Something adequately destabilizing which makes the formation of a totalitarian state vaguely plausible. Juli Zeh will probably claim that this is not meant to be a realistic vision of the future, but rather a model to examine what the consequences of state control of our health might be. But I can't help feeling that she is tilting at the wrong windmills. It may well be true that there is a kind of health brigade that try to persuade us that we can be even more healthy than healthy, but usually it's no more than a marketing ploy to push some spurious 'health giving' product, super-food or anti-oxidant, or a 'wellness' programme that is mostly designed to part me from my money (how will that make me feel better?).It's true that there are numerous government campaigns to persuade us to eat more fruit and veg, lose weight, quit smoking and so on, but the only reason why these campaigns are numerous and strident is precisely because governments are well aware that the three single measures that would improve the general health of the nation in one fell swoop are absolutely unthinkable. All any government really needs to do is make smoking, alcohol, and cured meat illegal. There you go. Easy. Er, no. Because the one sacred value of our Western democratic world, the one that outweighs all the rest put together, is freedom. The freedom to fuck your life up any way you want to. The totalitarianism of this model is getting in the way of what might have been a sensible appraisal of how to curb spiralling health care costs. Next!

  • Fionnuala
    2019-04-24 06:53

    This story is set in the future, in the middle decades of this century. Juli Zeh imagines a scenario where the governments of the world have abandoned all political systems except one: the Method. All industry that damages the air or soil quality has ceased and the primary focus is on maintaining optimum health in the population by means of strict controls of food, drink, drugs, health, hygiene, exercise and genetic data. People live in controlled areas and anywhere beyond those areas is considered potentially contaminated, and therefore forbidden. A lot of things are forbidden. Zeh has created an extreme version of the Nanny State where the individual matters little except in relation to the group and reason has replaced religion.The style tripped me up at the beginning. There is a lot of dialogue and it rarely sounds natural. At first I thought this might be a translation problem but then I began to imagine the novel as a play and suddenly, it worked for me. The dialogue is like a set of speeches; the characters’s words sound like they are meant to be declaimed, like a series of perfect sound-bites. The action of the novel could easily take place on stage too, as there are very few characters and a limited number of settings. I think it would work very well as a provocative piece of theatre.The plot is interesting, even intriguing in some places. There were a few details that weren’t sufficiently explained but that may have been my failure to understand some of the finer points. The main characters are sparsely drawn but nevertheless, I found them all realistic except for one, Heinrich Kramer, the originator of the Method, whose multi functional role in the plot I found unlikely. On another level, however, I could see how he fitted in. Every story needs a likeable devil.

  • Marc
    2019-04-01 23:45

    This is the first book by Zeh that I really liked. Normally I'm not a fan of the genre of dystopia, but this is a very successful example. I think it even is a nice 21st-century variant on Huxley's Brave New World. Especially the basic concept – a world in which physical health takes precedence above all else and everyone therefore has to follow "the method" very strictly – is cleverly worked out. And, of course, the intrigue runs around the people who cannot live with that coercion. But fortunately, Zeh does not present a completely black & white portrait of this world: the rebellious good ones also have their drawbacks and the ruling Methodists (mostly) can also see the negative sides of their system. Also positive is that the book is short enough to stimulate the reflection on the problem of regulation and free will, without to be pushy (which was the case in the previous books by Zeh). I only questioned the role of the "ideal lover" in the beginning, which to me is an annoying magical-realistic element, and especially questioned the role of Heinrich Kramer who is presented as a kind of supreme authority, but also acts as a (very hypocritical) journalist. A journalist as Supreme Conscious of the world? The chills are running down my spine!

  • Nigel
    2019-04-25 05:57

    3.5 stars or 7/10A stylish addition to the dystopian future genre in the tradition of Orwell's 1984. Juli Zeh's version looks at society in the mid 21st century - a society completely obsessed with health, which has spawned a new political system (The Method) which requires citizens to comply with daily exercise, abstain from tobacco, alcohol etc. This is all tracked through accessing the data chip every citizen has implanted, and any deviation from this is considered a crime or, worse, an act of terrorism.The book opens with the main character, Mia, grieving the death of her brother, who fell foul of the system. What follows is then an account of Mia, previously an advocate of The Method, gradually and grudgingly taking up the fight against the system.I liked the way this book was written in its omniscient narrator style, not a method I usually warm to. The interaction between Mia and Kramer, the arch-villain of the book, are done very well, and to me were reminiscent of 1984's Winston Smith and O'Brien. Overall, it was a very enjoyable read, and a very credible nightmare vision for the future of Western society. The only frustrating thing, at least to me, was that the central event of the novel - the death of Mia's brother's girlfriend - is never explained adequately . I guess I should just accept that the reader has to make up their own mind about this, but I am the sort of reader who always wants to know these things for sure! This is the second book I have read by Juli Zeh (translated from the German), the other being 'Dark Matter' - I have enjoyed both, and will be looking for more

  • Damon
    2019-04-10 02:51

    A dystopia in the true sense: a satire funny and poignant. Well paced, this book avoids boredom by refusing to waste time with world building.

  • Britta Böhler
    2019-04-01 04:52

    A modern version of Orwell's 1984, combined with themes from Kafka's classic The Trial, the novel (published in 2010) depicts a totalitarian society where health is sacred and the belief in science absolute. The story is fast paced and combines a scifi-setting with a crime story which works really well. The book raises important questions about individual rights vs state power and the matter of 'state imposed health' is highly relevant today (given our increasing obsession with a 'healthy lifestyle').

  • Rein
    2019-03-31 04:54

    The books is advertised as a dystopian science fiction novel, but what it resembles more is a philosophical treatise, presented in the form of a polylogue between people with various convictions and backgrounds, which make the thoughts three-dimensional. The story is there only to give their positions weight. This is something Western philosophy has done since Plato and should do more often. But, understandably, if you decide to read Plato - or Berkeley's Hylas and Philonous, for example - for their narrative qualities, you may not understand why other people think so highly of them. For me, it was the other way round. Some of the plotpoints toward the end almost got a star off this book, but then I decided to keep it, as the philosophy, the language and also the anchoring of various thoughts in human types was so much better than f ex the "thought experiments" of quite a few highly acclaimed moral philosophers who present us with much worse stuff under the guise of academic philosophy. So quite clearly, this is not the book to be picked up at random and definitely not one for a reader of science fiction, which probably explains many of the relatively low marks given to it by other readers. And clearly it is not for a tired evening after lots of work. This is the second book I've read by Juli Zeh (the first was Dark Matter, which I also liked a lot), and I hope to read more.

  • Georg
    2019-04-12 01:48

    Die Idee ist gut, die Sprache gefällt mir, aber trotzde nur drei Sterne. Irgendwie erinnert alles ein bisschen an Dürrenmatt, wirkt konstruiert, und aus der Hauptperson (warum nennen Schriftstellerinnen ihre Heldinnen andauernd Mia?) wird man gar nicht schlau. Erst ziemlich farblos, dann unentschlossen, erst dargestellt als rational, dann plötzlich als emotional, irgendwie geschlechtslos und am Schluss Jeannne d'Arc oder Chea Guevara.

  • verbava
    2019-04-25 00:48

    антиутопія про поведене на здоровому способі життя суспільство, яке, схоже, хоче для своїх мешканців круглого добробуту заради самого добробуту – і тому не дуже переконливо виглядає. тобто якби людям забороняли курити, пити каву й кохатися з біологічно несумісними особами для того, щоб їх на щось корисне – во славу партії, наприклад, – використати, то було б іще зрозуміло, а тут за спробами покращити якість життя через усунення з нього маленьких радостей нічого не стоїть. нууудно.але книжка не цілковито безнадійна, бо контроль, особливо той лагідний, і зазіхання системи на будь-які способи виходу за її межі – зокрема через вихід за межі життя – прописані дуже добре. і фінальна революція розкішно провалюється (усе-таки песимізм притаманний антиутопісткам). і гріють душу начебто атавізми на кшталт «заварити свіжого окропу з трьома краплинками лимонного соку».

  • Yuliya Yurchuk
    2019-04-02 03:51

    Прекрасна антиутопія про суспільство, у якому здорове тіло зведене до культу. Дуже захоплює від першої до осттанньої сторінки. Раджу!

  • Floris Meertens
    2019-04-06 03:50

    Corpus Delicti opent met een manifest, dat een samenleving propageert die alleen gegrondvest is op gezondheid, aangezien goede gezondheid een garantie is op een langer bestaan, en overlevingsdrang het enige meetbare, objectieve doel van een mens kan zijn. Deze wereld wordt werkelijkheid, en is zeer succesvol. De Methode (elke dystopie moet een angstaanjagend abstract begrip hebben dat vergoddelijkt wordt, en vandaar ook de hoofdletter) heeft vrijwel alle ziektes uitgeroeid, van kanker tot de simpele verkoudheid. De samenleving is veilig en welvarend, maar "vrijheid" ontbreekt.Juli Zeh maakt een zeer goede keus bij het kiezen van de hoofdpersoon. Een minder vindingrijke auteur had van Moritz de protagonist gemaakt. Hij is een vrijheidsstrijder, een verzetsheld, een dichter, een filosoof, een romanticus, een levensgenieter, een buitenstaander. Hij staat lijnrecht tegenover alles wat de Methode predikt, en wanneer hij de hoofdpersoon was geweest, zou het boek gereduceerd worden tot banaal moralistisch gezwam, waarin vrijheid altijd superieur is, altijd moet overwinnen. Dan hadden we onszelf lekker op de schouder kunnen kloppen, en was onze manier van leven weer gerechtvaardigd.Maar hier gaat het om Mia, de zus van Moritz, zelf een natuurwetenschapper. Zij is de vereenzelviging van twijfel, ze loopt constant tussen de twee uitersten in. Ze doorgrondt zowel het gedachtegoed van Moritz, als dat van iemand zoals Kramer, maar is kritisch op beide filosofieën, en kan lange tijd niet kiezen. Ze is zowel cynisch (bijna op het nihilistisch af) als gepassioneerd, wat ik een interessante combinatie vond.Zeh uit niet alleen kritiek op de obsessie van gezondheid, maar ook op andere "heilige" waarden waar eerdere samenlevingen op zijn gebouwd. Zo wordt de democratie, onze Methode, door Kramer een fout van het Verlichtingsdenken genoemd, en daarvoor worden goede argumenten aangekaart. Dit kan ik altijd waarderen in dystopieën, dat we als lezer bijna overtuigd kunnen worden van de nachtmerrie. Niemand wil leven in de wereld van 1984, maar op sommige punten is de wereld van Corpus Delicti erg aantrekkelijk. Dit boek is niet slechts een beschrijving van een vreselijke maatschappij, maar ook een verhaal van persoonlijk conflict. De interne dialogen van Mia komen nogal onsubtiel naar voren met de Ideale Geliefde, maar dystopieën zijn sowieso zelden de waarborgers van subtiliteit. De ontwapenende schrijfstijl zorgt ervoor dat het toch effectief is, en het sterk emotionele vormt een fijn contrast met de kille, steriele achtergrond. Bij het lezen van Corpus Delicti realiseerde ik me dat ik dystopieën altijd verkeerd heb beoordeeld. Ik vroeg me bij het lezen van boeken als 1984, Brave New World en The Handmaid's Tale vooral af hoe realistisch het beschreven scenario was, en of het dus ooit zou kunnen gebeuren. Maar dystopieën vertellen niet een verhaal over toekomst, maar over de denkbeelden van vandaag. In die zin zijn ze een stilistisch middel om kritiek te leveren, en kunnen ze dienen als waarschuwing. Corpus Delicti laat ons nadenken over het positivisme, de hoogmoedige houding van wetenschap, de almachtige ratio, die zonder uitzondering de vrijheid tot slachtoffer maakt.Dan moet ik de vraag stellen: Is deze angst gegrond? Zijn in onze samenleving het geloof en vertrouwen in de wetenschap te ver doorgeslagen? We hebben nog geen chip in onze arm, zoveel is zeker, maar de kwaliteit van leven wordt wel steeds meer beoordeeld door objectieve, meetbare principes zoals gezondheid, en dat heeft iets dwangmatigs. De vrije wil lijkt al gestorven te zijn in het wetenschappelijk debat, of we dat nu willen (HA) of niet.Aan de andere kant, er is niets in de maatschappij van vandaag dat zo wordt verafgood als vrijheid. Mensen hebben de vrijheid tot roken, ongezond eten en dergelijke. Wij hebben het recht ons leven te verspillen, en er een einde aan te maken. De Anti-vaxxers zijn misschien niet groot in getale, maar ze hebben in vele landen nog steeds het recht om zich niet in te enten. Maar het is niet ondenkbaar dat, als er in de nabije toekomst een andere ideologie het wint van het liberalisme, dit er een zal zijn van kil rationalisme. In die zin is Corpus Delicti treffend en actueel, maar bovenal is het gewoon een goed verhaal.

  • Patrick
    2019-03-28 06:52

    I don’t think this is a bad book. I just didn’t get it. I have two problems. The first problem is the premise. This is a utopian/dystopian novel based upon the idea of a society that provides a healthcare system which is so universal and so highly advanced that it has all but eliminated pain and disease from the citizen population. The only way in which it is able to do this is by closely monitoring the health of its people at every stage of their lives; this means frequent, mandatory blood/stool/skin testing, and (apparently!) it also means a total ban on alcohol, cigarettes, all food except for that which comes in protein and vitamin tubes, and all drinks except hot water and lemon. (Presumably other drinks are permitted, but this last example is intended as a weirdly literary signal to the reader that this government is so puritanical they won’t even permit tea and coffee. Hot water and lemon is mentioned all the time! Look how mean they are! As if we didn’t already have decaf?)Never mind that these details seem unlikely. The most implausible part of this is that such a system bears no reality to anything actually happening in any modern society. We are supposed to believe that this is a world which has been designed according to perfectly rational, utilitarian criteria; yet the standards by which this rationality has been developed are never really explained in the novel. One could equally argue – and plenty of quite rational politicians already do – that it would be far more ‘rational’ to cut government-funded healthcare programs and expect every individual to buy their own health insurance from an open, regulated marketplace, at every stage choosing from a variety of standards of care according to what they can afford and (perhaps) how much autonomy they might wish to surrender. Many people (myself included) would have concerns about this way of doing things, but regardless, in a world where the costs of advanced medical treatment are effectively unlimited, this is the way healthcare is going. And it makes Zeh’s libertarian fantasy of a Big State crushing the will of a poor little person look distinctly old hat. If this were a book about the limits of a wholly rationalised view of existence I might have a little more patience, but the healthcare thing gets in the way. Whatever you think of ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ or ‘Brave New World’, one could at least say that they added to our understanding of the society in which their respective authors lived; this book certainly fails in that regard. The other problem is that at no point does the author seriously consider that a perfectly efficient and all-encompassing healthcare system might actually be a really good thing for society. One reason for this is to do with the novel’s protagonist, Mia. The reader is expected to believe that she has a variety of relationships in her life which make her a dangerous alien to society at large; there is her brother, who was imprisoned after being found with a girl he’d apparently raped and murdered; there is her ‘ideal inamorata’, a kind of imaginary friend who hangs out in her apartment; and maybe above all there is Mia’s relationship with her own unclean body and her unkept surroundings. She is certainly compelling, and her words and thoughts are often beautifully written, though the English translation is at times somewhat stilted, and there’s nothing like the cool/crazy/icky fascination with the body that we found in Charlotte Roche’s ‘Wetlands’. The real problem is that Mia feels like a literary creation of a deliberately contrarian nature. Whenever she feels anything, whether it be physical pain or emotional anguish or whatever, you never really feel like it is something the Method could fix. Which is the point, I know, but that hardly seems fair to the conceit binding this whole thing together. Let me try and put it another way: if ever such a society were to come to pass, there’s no doubt that a huge number of people would be helped. It’s basically impossible but if it were applied worldwide, it would indisputably be mankind’s greatest achievement. And it wouldn’t necessarily involve banning booze or caffeine or any of the other dystopian sci-fi trimmings this novel describes, nor would it involve a total sterilisation of human culture. What I find objectionable is this endless romanticising of pain and death, and the author’s notion that such a society would find it necessary to seek out and punish somebody like Mia for choosing to be different. I just didn’t get it.

  • Gisela Hafezparast
    2019-04-15 05:01

    Juli Zeh is the daughter of a former German minister and member of the German Government, educated all over the world and clearly has had insight in the ways of various governments around the world. This, combined with a degree in Rechtswissenschaften and Voelkerrecht, means she has a good grip on how the law can be used to protect from and defeat anybody who is against it's views.This book is partly a modern version of 1984, but where Big Brother is a more "acceptable, modern and pseud0-science based" totalitarian system, in which the citizen is protected from harm and can live a life "entitled to happiness and illness-free living" as long as he does what the Method (i.e. the Government) tells it to do. The law in the first instance is there to protect not only the majority but also helps those which stray to regain the right path. However, as in all authoritarian systems, descent is not allowed and anybody, who falls outside the norm, the law is going to crush. Government uses the law to not only crush descend but to use it together with the media, again controlled behind the scenes by Government, to control not only anybody who is not in line with the Government but also the population as a whole. I listened to this book as a German audiobook, which I would highly recommend. Not sure if there is an English version. I will definitely read more from this author.

  • Alex
    2019-04-26 04:53

    To make this as short as I possibly can: Juli Zeh is a somewhat entertaining and to some extent even decent writer, but definitely not a great one. In this particular work, she manages to keep up the suspense for a prolonged period of time, but her deliverance, represented by her writing style, is lacking more than just once. One is not surprised to see that she studied law when reading the novel, as the topics of justice and righteousness basically constitute the backbone of the whole story. The depiction of the dystopian society (to be perfectly frank, the idea of writing genuine dystopias, which bring something new to the table, basically died out after the likes of "1984", "A Clockwork Orange" or "Brave New World", if you ask me, although there are some notable exceptions) and its law system was done quite well in my opinion, but when it comes to narrative, grasp of the language, and beautiful prose, you realize that these fields definitely aren't her forte. Amusing read with a somewhat interesting although very debatable twist, but not convincing enough to encourage me to read another of her works anytime soon.

  • Luxvivens
    2019-03-29 03:48

    Eine dunkle Geschichte über eine düstere Zukunft und das Schicksal mehrerer Personen/einer Gesellschaft in einer Dystopie. Das Buch wird hoffentlich mal für das Theater umgesetzt, denn obowohl es sehr komplex ist, ist es wie dafür geschrieben. Denke dies wäre sowohl wegen der Geschichte an sich sehenswert als auch bzgl. der Deutungsweise des Regisseurs sehr interessant. Allerdings werde ich über dieses Buch noch einige Zeit nachdenken müssen, ehe ich die moralische Fragestellung für mich ausgetüftelt und entschieden habe. Die Thematik Von Corpus Delicti ist erschreckend aktuell und in vielerlei Hinsicht sind der im Buch dargestellte Staat/das regierende System geradezu greifbar. Obwohl ziemlich deprimierend und in einigen Teilen schmerzhaft zu lesen, wird dies sicherlich nicht das letzte Buch von Juli Zeh sein, das ich lese.

  • Julia Reim
    2019-04-02 02:55

    I really liked the philosophical language of the book and how Mia's thoughts have been portrayed. The story itself was a little bit confusing for me but I think it was supposed to illustrate Mia's state of mind and how she herself doesn't really have a clue of all the overwhelming things that happen

  • Christine
    2019-04-12 07:53

    the plot itself was kind of weird and I didn't really connect with any of the characters. but it's required reading, so I didn't have high expectations in the first place... though I must say – the writing was very beautiful in some places!

  • Simon
    2019-04-02 03:41

    Das jüngste Werk meiner derzeitigen deutschen Lieblingsautorin spielt im Jahr 2057. Grundlage des gesamten Staatswesens ist die “Methode” geworden. Das gesamte Leben ist auf die Erhaltung der Gesundheit ausgerichtet. Die Bürger sind zu staatlich vorgegebenen Sporteinheiten verpflichtet. Die Abwässer ihrer Wohnungen werden auf chemische Konstellationen hin untersucht, die auf eine Erkrankung hinweisen könnten.Mia Holl ist eine erfolgreiche Biologin und eine standfeste Vertreterin der “Methode”. Ihr Bruder Moritz dagegen hat sich schon als Kind von ihr und ihren Eltern unverstanden gefühlt, wie sie später zu Protokoll geben wird. Er ist ein Bohemien und Lebemann, der Mia bei jedem wöchentlichen Treffen von einer neuen Liebschaft vorschwärmt.Bei einem seiner Rendezvous’ findet Moritz Holl sein Date tot und vergewaltigt unter einer Brücke vor. Weil die am Opfer gefundene DNA mit Holls eigener übereinstimmt, wird er verhaftet und vor Gericht gebracht. Der Fall erregt landesweites Aufsehen: Moritz Holl beteuert seine Unschuld. Er leugnet die Beweiskraft des DNA-Tests. Er leugnet die “Methode”.In der Haft tötet sich Moritz mit einer von seiner Schwester eingeschmuggelten Angelschnur.Der Prozess gegen ihren Bruder stürzt Mia Holl in eine tiefe Sinnkrise. Sie ist gleichermaßen von der Gültigkeit der “Methode” wie der Unschuld Moritz’ überzeugt. Weil sie ihre Gesundheitspflichten vernachlässigt, gerät sie mit der Justiz in Konflikt. Ihre persönliche Tragödie wird zum Scheidepunkt der Gesellschaft.Die “Methode” ist nichts anderes als die Vernunft. 2057 befinden wir uns in einer Gesellschaft, in der die Ratio als oberstes Leitprinzip installiert wurde. Eine Ratio, welche die Gesundheit zum höchsten, unantastbaren Gut des Menschen auserkoren hat. Eine Reaktion auf den Niedergang der Ideologien gerade in Deutschland, nachdem diese sich im zweiten Weltkrieg ein für allemal diskreditiert hatten. “Das klingt so nach zwanzigstem Jahrhundert” ist im Jahr 2057 ein Ausdruck des Ekels vor dem Irrationalen geworden. “Erst hat die naturwissenschaftliche Erkenntnis das göttliche Weltbild zerstört und den Menschen ins Zentrum des Geschehens gerückt. Dann hat sie ihn dort stehen gelassen, ohne Antworten, in einer Lage, die nichts weiter als lächerlich ist.”So dagegen erklärt Moritz Holl die Situation. Es ist eine typische Fragestellung für Juli Zeh, deren Werk sich immer wieder um die Frage der Moral nach dem Ende der Werte dreht. Es ist die Frage, wer verantwortungslos handelt: Der Naturfreund Moritz Holl, der Mia Woche für Woche an dem Stoppschild am Ende des Weges vorbei auf eine Lichtung im Wald zerrt, der raucht und die zentrale Partnervermittlung als ideale Suchmaschine für One Night Stands missbraucht - oder die rationale Mia Holl, die in einem keimfreien Haus in einer desinfizierten Welt ein Leben ohne erkennbare Ziele oder Freuden lebt.Juli Zeh erweist sich aber auch abseits der großen moralischen Fragen als hellsichtige Beobachterin der politischen Prozesse in Deutschland. 2008 reichte sie beim Bundesverfassungsgericht eine Klage gegen den biometrischen Reisepass ein, ein Jahr nach dem die Theaterfassung von “Corpus Delicti” erschienen war. Die darin so zentrale absolute Kontrolle der Gesundheit der Menschen über unter die Haut gepflanzte Chips, Meldepflichten und Untersuchungen der Abwässer kann man sich nur zu gut als eine Fortsetzung der immer stärker werdenden staatlichen Eingriffe in die Gesundheitsvorsorge der einzelnen Bürger vorstellen. Zumal die Begründung nur zu rational erscheint: Muss nicht jeder von uns gesund sein wollen?In Juli Zehs Roman wollen das tatsächlich nicht alle Menschen: Immer wieder ist die Rede von den Terroristen von R.A.K. - Recht Auf Krankheit. Wer sich die Beschreibung der Terroristen als ein Netzwerk, über das der Staat alles und doch nichts weiß, das zugleich ungefährlich und eine Bedrohung ist, durchliest, der muss sich an das uns bekannte Bild von Al Qaida erinnert fühlen. Die irrationale Fundamentalopposition, die diese Terroristen mit ihren Forderungen darstellen, muss das selbe Unverständnis auslösen wie jene bärtigen Terroristen, die uns für unsere Freiheit und Demokratie hassen. Es ist kein Wunder, dass wir diese wie jene nur über durchschaubar undurchsichtige Medien zu Gesicht bekommen.Juli Zehs Gesellschaft 2057 darf und sollte in eine Reihe gestellt werde mit den drei großen dystopischen Entwürfen des vergangenen Jahrhunderts von Orwell, Huxley und Bradbury. Die Weitsichtigkeit ihrer Analysen könnte einen dazu verleiten, Warnhinweise auf den kommenden Ausgaben des Werkes zu fordern: “Corpus Delicti ist keine Bedienungsanleitung”.Zugleich weiß Zeh aber auch mit ihrer großartigen Sprache zu glänzen. Allerdings erhalten die außergewöhnlichen Bilder weniger Platz als in ihren älteren Romanen Adler und Engel oder Spieltrieb. An einigen Stellen erinnern sie nicht nur inhaltlich an das Werk Georg Büchners, etwa bei den Worten von Mias nach dem “Hexenhammer“-Autoren Heinrich Kramer benanntem Antagonisten: “Das Menschliche ist ein nachtschwarzer Raum, in dem wir herumkriechen, blind und taub wie Neugeborene. Man kann nicht mehr tun, als dafür zu sorgen, dass wir uns beim Kriechen möglichst selten die Köpfe stoßen. Das ist alles.”Juli Zehs ältere Werke empfinde ich als noch tiefgreifender in ihren Fragen als “Corpus Delicti”; gerade die relative Kürze dieses Romans verglichen mit den “Spieltrieb” oder “Adler und Engel” kostet ihn einiges an Qualität. Dennoch ist “Corpus Delicti” ein rundherum lesenswertes Buch; eine Dystopie von erschreckender Wahrscheinlichkeit und schon jetzt ein Bild unserer Gesellschaft, das uns unangenehm sein muss.

  • Lola
    2019-04-08 07:42

    This was so good! I love how short the chapters were which made the philosophical dialogue flow so well. I sort of wish there was a bit more world building (does the whole world follow the Method?) but I can understand why she chose not to have so much, as the story isn't so much about the dystopian world but more a study on what makes us alive.

  • Ryandake
    2019-04-08 05:45

    i really wanted to like this book better than i did.maybe this was just the runt of the litter? 'cause Zeh has been gathering all kinds of critical attention and kudos, and i thought--wow, maybe this will be that rare kind of sf that not only shows us a possible future, but does it in a way that makes us re-think the present.the setup certainly has some eerie resonances with the present: in this future, the state has taken a very personal interest in individuals' health. and who could argue with good health? why shouldn't a state, which after all ends up footing a lot of the bill for people's bad habits, try to nudge the citizenry toward better habits? (interestingly, just when i started reading this book, there was a NYT editorial advising that doctors insist their patients over 50 all take low-dose aspirin for the prevention of heart disease, stroke, etc. so let no one say this state interest is just over-the-top implausible.)and here in scenic california, at least among certain strata of society, nasty habits like smoking have certainly taken a legislative and sociological beating. so, the stage is certainly set for The Method.but the book itself is like one of those minimalist stage plays with scarves on the stage representing rivers... and the people are just as one-dimensional. our heroine, Mia, and her adversary Kramer are as unidimensional as can be. it's not as if Mia is a living, breathing, quirky, idiosyncratic character in a lunatic setting, which at least might have been interesting; nope, she's as flat as the stage set, and so is her nemesis.sometimes in satire this is not only functional but necessary, but that's not the case here. this book is not satire. it takes itself deadly serious in its very manichean examination of "freedom" vs. the state. in fact, nearly everything in this book is either/or, and the problem is that the eithers are not necessarily natural opposites. in short, there's a lot of contrivance in this book: contrived situations, contrived opposites, contrived's the last that really makes this book a hard slog: the characters argue at the meta level in their white rooms, none really affecting the other's viewpoints because, well, how could they? humans interact. and these aren't humans.i bought another of her books--In Free Fall: A Novel--and i am sincerely hoping this one is better, less a set piece and more of an examination. 'cause beyond the age of fifteen or so, one really doesn't need to see the armies of Black and White duke it out. been there, done that, and in fact i think i read it better done even when i was fifteen.

  • Metta
    2019-04-07 05:09

    "I refuse to trust a society that is made up of humans and based on a fear of what is human. I refuse to trust a civilization that has sold out the mind to the body.I refuse to trust a body that represents a collective vision of a normalized body rather than my own flesh, my own blood. I refuse to trust a definition of normality based on good health.I refuse to trust a definition of health based on normality.I refuse to trust a system of government based on logical fallacies.I refuse to trust an idea of safety that claims to be the definitive answer without disclosing what the question is.I refuse to trust an ethical framework that opts for "functional" and "non-funcional" rather than confronting the paradox of good and evil. I refuse to trust a legal system that derives its success from controlling every aspect of its citizens' lives. I refuse to trust a population that believes total transparency exposes only those with something to hides.I refuse to trust the Method for valuing a person's DNA over his word.I refuse to trust the common good for seeing individuality as an unjustifiable expense. I refuse to trust personal interest that is merely a variation on a collective theme.I refuse to trust a political system that draws its popularity entirely from the promise of a life free of risk . I refuse to trust natural sciences that repudiate free will.I refuse to trust a notion of love that casts itself as the product of two optimally suited immune systems.I refuse to trust parents who see tree houses as accidents waiting to happen and pets as carriers of disease. I refuse to trust a system that claims to know better than I do what is good for me.I refuse to trust the person who took down the sign at the gates to humanity that said: "Caution! Life leads to death!"I refuse to trust myself because my brother had to die before I finally understood what it means to be alive. "The prose is not my kind of writing, too cerebral and overtly manipulated for the reader. I need to dive into what I read and forget I am reading as images surround me and emotions take hold. The continual getting in and out of the story through the narrator's voice was disturbing.The story is the eternal dilemma of a so called utopian society turned into a state of control and compliance.How much freedom are we willing to give up and in name of what ideal and unnatural aspiration?This is nothing new and calls to mind it's illustrious predecessors.There are a few passages that have gotten me, as is the way certain characters are described in their human ambivalence is interesting.I could not decide in the end if I did like any of the characters or not, which was a plus.

  • Lalagè
    2019-03-28 23:50

    Mia komt koel over en ik vind haar niet sympathiek, maar ik ben steeds nieuwsgierig naar hoe deze wereld in elkaar steekt. De beschouwingen hierover zijn soms een beetje droog, maar tegelijkertijd zit het sterk in elkaar. (...)Is het leven beter als ziekte niet meer bestaat of missen we dan belangrijke levenservaringen? Deze overwegingen maken dit boek echt de moeite waard.

  • Clay
    2019-03-28 07:52

    Ich war sehr skeptisch bevor ich begonnen habe dieses Buch zu lesen. Ich wusste, dass Juli Zeh Juristin ist und eine ausgesprochen gute Rednerin. Ich habe sie in Diskussionsshows gesehen und Interviews von ihr gelesen. Sie ist eine sehr charismatische und intelligente Frau. Das alles macht sie aber nicht zu einer guten Autorin. Vor allem fand ich es problematisch, dass sie diesen Drang verspürt, Menschen wachzurütteln und zu belehren. Dies kann einen Künstler oder Autor enorm behindern, da er einen Ton einnimmt, der jemanden wie mich enorm nervt. Literatur ist Kunst und muss gar nichts. L'art pour l'art. Ich hatte gehört, dass dieses Werk eine Anhäufung von Argumenten wäre und sonst nichts. Wenn ich dann noch Halbwissen und Argumentationslücken erkenne, habe ich endgültig genug. Somit war ich jederzeit bereit, das Buch zu zu schlagen und mir ein anderes stattdessen zu schnappen. Wie man an den vier Sternen erkennen kann, wurde ich sehr positiv überrascht. Wie sowieso schon bekannt, handelt es sich hierbei um die Geschichte einer jungen Frau namens Mia, die sich gegen eine dystopische Gesellschaft auflehnt, dessen höchstes Gut die Gesundheit ist. Die Prosa Zehs ist sehr viel flüssiger als gedacht, nach ein paar Seiten, findet man sich sehr leicht zurecht. Ich begann, den Erzählton sehr zu mögen. Die dystopischen Elemente sind glaubhaft und präzise beschrieben und zwar in einer Form, in welcher man weder zuviel noch zu wenig darüber erfährt. Sehr positiv heraus zu streichen ist hierbei auch, dass die "Methode", das Prinzip, das Recht, wogegen die Hauptprotagonistin kämpft nicht als rein böse dargestellt wird. Es basiert auf logischen Gedankengängen. Diese werden vor allem von Herrn Kramer vorgetragen, einem Medienstar, der sich einige Wortgefechte mit Mia leistet. Allgemein sind die Charaktere auf eine sehr einzigartige Art gezeichnet worden. Ich hatte immer wieder das Gefühl, sie würden einem Theaterstück entspringen. Tatsächlich habe ich gerade gelesen, dass Corpus Delicti als solches ursprünglich geschrieben wurde. Letztendlich ist es sehr wohl eines dieser Bücher, die den Leser schamlos zum Denken anregen und den großen Begriff Freiheit unter besonderen Umständen diskutiert. Dies geschieht aber in einer sehr zufriedenstellenden Form und der befürchtete, belehrende Tonfall tritt niemals ein. Man könnte sogar soweit gehen und behaupten, dass es letztendlich Einstellungssache ist, welcher Seite man Recht gibt.

  • Slađana
    2019-04-01 04:51

    Radi se o kombinaciji distopijskog SF-a i političkog trilera. Da stvari ipak budu zanimljivije priča je postavljena u okvir sudske drame. Zloguka budućnost je pak samo nekoliko desetljeća daleko od nas - naime, radnja romana odvija se sredinom 21. stoljeća. Totalitarističko društvo koje je osmislila Zeh opsjednuto je zdravljem, čistoćom i kultom tijela. Svaki je građanin primjerice dužan tjedno davati uzorke svog urina na analizu ili odvoziti određen broj kilometara na sobnom biciklu – jer zdravo i dugovječno tijelo jamac je istog takvog društva, kao i osobnog zadovoljstva. Sva ova hrpa besmislica temelji se na tzv. Metodi, dogmi čiji su temelji posve znanstveni. Metoda je nepogrešiva i samim time jedina ispravna, a svi koji se drznu posumnjati u nju završe uspavani na neodređeno vrijeme.Središnji lik, tridesetogodišnja Mia Holl, jedna je od poslušnika koji su cijeli život živjeli u skladu s Metodom: u zgradi posebno odlikovanoj za urednost i čistoću, bez ijednog prijestupa ili ekscesa koji uključuju i pijenje kave ili pušenje cigareta. Samo šalica vruće vode tu i tamo. No kad njezinog brata, inače bezopasnog buntovnika i idealista, osude pod optužbom da je silovao i ubio poznanicu, Mia doživljava slom. Njeno ponašanje počinje opasno dovoditi u pitanje svrhu i pravednost Metode, te slučaj mora sanirati njen najsjajniji glasnogovornik: naočiti i odlučni Heinrich Kramer. Njihove polemike neće ostati samo na riječima, već će se pretvoriti u pravu bitku u kojoj se ne biraju sredstva. Mia je spremna žrtvovati svoj život za rušenje sustava, a Heinrich Kramer na sve moguće zamislive manipulacije.Corpus delicti se brzo čita usprkos ozbiljnosti svoje teme. Stil: pomalo hladan i sterilan i zapravo savršen za roman distopije u kojem se i samo društvo pokušava sterilizirati od možebitnog (i najmanjeg) zastranjenja. Ipak, nije lišen ni smisla za humor, koji je istinabog suh i ciničan, ali lijepo razigrava tekst usmjeren na brzo pripovijedanje. Vrijedi pročitati kako je to kad se zamjerite svevidećem i svemoćnom sustavu koji je učio na greškama svih onih totalitarizama koji su mu prethodili.

  • laura
    2019-04-11 02:50

    I had to read this book for school and I don't know what to think about it. It isn't like a novel or something - at least it didn't feel like one for me- it is more like a character depiction from one extreme to another. From Mia being "rational" and defensive towards the totalitarian system "Method" and then irrationally fighting against it without any real goal or a real plan that could actually work.But the weirdest thing about this book is that I actually liked it. I think the idea of such a future is extremely interesting and the way Juli Zeh built this whole new world is even more intriguing. Even though there was no plot and the characters were all a bit dull, their dialogues were breath-taking. I liked the philosophical aspect everything that was said in this book had and how you could interpret so much even in something unimportant a supportive character said. This is also connected with the writing which makes it easy to follow the story and makes everything just flow by. So all in all you can say: I liked the writing. I liked the idea. I wasn't a fan of the characters or the plot but I liked the way this book was structured. And I adored the dialogues.

  • Nathalie
    2019-04-11 07:07

    Juli Zeh, die in ihrem Buch "Corpus Delicti" nicht nur die klare Trennung zwischen Autor und Erzähler verfehlt, sondern auch - teilweise daraus resultierend - einen anstrengenden, abschweifeden, den Faden verlierenden und teilweise sogar langweiligen Schreibstil hat, erschafft einen Protagonisten, der aufgrund seines zynischen und selbstmitleidigen Denkens, das hauptsächlich in Form von Parolen geschieht, oftmals den Eindruck erweckt, nicht viel Tiefe und Cleverness zu besitzen. Mia Holl verschärft sich so auf ihre eigenen Parolen und die Aphorismen, die sie irgendwo einmal aufgeschnappt hat, dass sie in der fortlaufenden Handlung immer langweiliger und nerviger und schwerer zu ertragen ist. 2 Sterne sind als Wertung mehr als Genug.

  • Calzean
    2019-04-17 02:41

    The future is a totalitarian state where the laws of the land are defined in a set of Articles called The Method. The aim is to maintain the health of its citizens and by being healthy the people will live a full life.Mia Holl and her brother find themselves in trouble with The Method and a set of court cases occur (not surprising given the author is a lawyer). The narration is unemotional, as are the characters, which align with the world the book is describing. The book just lacked an impact.

    2019-04-02 03:01

    Was für ein unglaubliches Buch ist das! Eine Art von transponiert 1984 wo die Gesundheit ist alles und "Die Methode" hat die Macht zu tun alles um es für die Bevölkerung zu halten. Eine echte Geschichte, die mich dazu veranlasste, eine Menge Dinge zu hinterfragen und mich auch fragen zu lassen.Che libro incredibile è questo! Una sorta di trasposizione di 1984 dove la salute è tutto e "Il metodo" ha il potere di fare qualsiasi cosa per mantenerla per la popolazione. Una vera storia che mi ha fatto riflettere su molte cose e me ne ha fatte chiedere altre.

  • Adrian
    2019-04-25 07:08

    Un futuro donde el METODO controla todo en beneficio de la salud del pueblo... un futuro donde se han dormido casi al 100% las individualidades. Un libro que nos muestra la lucha del contra el caos y en la que la protagonista se convierte "sin querer" en una líder (en la Juana de Arco o Jesús de Nada de su tiempo... En una posible mártir que haga caer el sistema establecido). Libro que no me ha enganchado pero que presenta un posible plausible...