“I have a class theory of literature,” Disch once explained. “I come from the wrong neighborhood to sell to The New Yorker. No matter how good I am as an artist. “And it isn’t just Camp Archimedes. It’s the whole universe. The whole goddamned universe is a fucking concentration camp.” Mordecai rolled back into the pile. In this chillingly plausible work of speculative fiction, Thomas M. Disch imagines an alternate s in which America has declared war on the rest of.

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As in Algernon, it’s a diary; this time, the diary is being kept by Louis Sacchetti, a poet and conscientious objector who is assigned to the project with cojcentration brief of reporting on progress from a literary perspective. I would rate 4 stars if considering that but I This was published in and it feels like something written at least a decade or two later.

Yet the real treat here is in the conversations, some of which remind me of the heated intellectual dialogue in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountainwhile another powerful section of Camp Concentration offers a modern updating of Dostoevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor.

Camp Concentration

Nova Dick, Philip K. Disch doesn’t show his hand, or even his prose, right away. Joseph Bottum wrote of him quite fondly for The Weekly Standardand an article in the Boston Review praised in his first book, Disch committed suicide by gunshot on July 4, The most notable thing about the dystopic view of an alternative America in Thomas Disch’s novel is the status of the narrator. Once again, conentration is well written and you may like it. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Flowers for Algernon has become a minor classic, and, thanks to the movie, even people who haven’t read it often know the story.


The book is told in the form of Sacchetti’s diary, and includes literary references to the story of Faust at one point the prisoners stage Christopher Marlowe ‘s Doctor Faustus and Sacchetti’s friendship with ringleader Mordecai Washington parallels Faust’s with Mephistopheles.

In other words, they prove to be very much like Tom Disch himself. Now, Disch is very transparent – along with all of his issues and troubles.

Camp Concentration – Wikipedia

Whether madness or genius is predominant in our narrator, it is focused on his internal life and channelled into writing fiction. Robert Heinlein at A. This starts out like Kafka rewriting Flowers of Algernon with hints of the Prisoner which Disch wrote a novel for before becoming a surreal dreamscape and then winding into an ,I thought, satisfying twist.

Does he mean anybody killed by these bombs were innocent victims? This was not one of my favorite reads. It was a very short novel that felt much longer in reading. After an initial period in a normal prison sharing a cell with criminals, he is transferred to a mysterious underground base.


There are only a handful of internees, and they concentrxtion seem like nice enough fellows although a couple of them a clearly ill. Reading it was a journey into an alternative world that, unfortunately, was all too believable. Camp Concentration Disch, Thomas M. Ted Gioia writes about music, literature and pop culture.

Check out our sister sites: It really takes off from there. I picked up Camp Concentration because I’ve come across several remembrances of Disch, who killed himself only a few months ago.

I would rate 4 stars if considering that but I am choosing to rate solely on discch this book made me feel and all of the wonderful imagery Disch forced upon me. The first of these seemed inevitable, the second plausible but under-explored, and the third surprising and yet oddly lacking impact.


That does not prove to be the case. The narrative certainly dances all around the two themes without coming to firm conclusions.

Speculiction Review of “Camp Concentration” by Thomas Disch

Aug 30, Anita Dalton rated it it was ok Shelves: Three months into his sentence, Sacchetti is mysteriously taken from prison and brought to Camp Archimedes, an underground compound run by General Humphrey Haast. Also, this book has single-handedly expanded my vocabulary more than any other this year.

He is a hammy stage actor on paper and it hurts reading his thoughts and then thinking about the implications of those thoughts. But these are paltry peccadilloes. Her only real function in the plot is her vagina, and the main character and another high ranking official, Haast, constantly make disparaging remarks about her apparent sexual conservatism.

The last of the great chiliasts. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Was I supposed to know there were clues and that I was reading a mystery book?

A more focused novel thanif less ambitious as that novel reads like a soap opera written by Ballard with all the good and bad that that implies. The Crystal World Ballard, J. Forse non ho capito appieno tutto quello che l’autore voleva dire, potrei volerlo rileggere in futuro. The food is equal to a five star restaurantt, the library is something akin to the Library of Congress. Return to Book Page.

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