“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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There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Through his concentratjon, readers get to know the various characters that inhabit the camp, geniuses whose intellectual fires burn brightly even while their bodies slowly go cold. It would make a good book to read with other people, in order to share ideas and impressions.

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The military hopes their lab rats will come up with brilliant weapons, but they tend more toward alchemical experiments and arcane theological discussions. Nor, as an adult, would I consider giving it to a child. The novel is divided into two sections, and the sections are noticeably different. Camp Concentration also contains ideas that might look unnervingly close to the present dystopia: While you might not expect such a dramatic change as in Algernon’s Charlie, you should expect some subtle change in writing, or in the behavior of those around him who were in different phases of the disease.

Nova Dick, Philip K. Ccamp prisoners in the book appear to be fascinated by alchemywhich they used as an elaborate cover for their czmp plans. Dec 18, James rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 25 comments. Louis is a writer though, and as a result, he thinks very discy things. Dlsch also puts a cap on life at nine additional months.


We experience the story Written inI know the book is a reflection on America’s involvement in Vietnam but reading it inI felt like it is talking directly about things that are happening now.

Camp Concentration

The parallels in this book abound, but with the notion of poisoned minds, whether by the State which is engaged in perpetual war or through the experiments in Camp Archimedes, where Sacchetti has been sent to participate in tests of a new mind-expanding drug, one is reminded that this book was written during the middle of the Viet Nam War era.

Consider that the transcripts of the atrocity trials are already, these many years, offered for our entertainment in theaters. As Sacchetti gets to know the guinea pigs, including their apparent leader, Mordecai, he learns that Mordecai is working on an alchemical project that HH is more excited about than anyone else.

The book has flaws difficult to discuss them without spoiling a fun plotbut all in all I found it deeper and more interesting than Algernon, and I have re-read it several times.

Sacchetti and the other inmates are used in perverse scientific experiments, and Sacchetti is infected with a germ that raises intelligence to incredible dischh while causing decay and death. At the time, it was the Vietnam war.

Speculiction Review of “Camp Concentration” by Thomas Disch

I find that it isn’t easy to run across books by Thomas Disch, he’s a fairly obscure pulp scifi author. I’m honestly surprised that it isn’t more well-known; it was conventration, deep and thought-provoking, while still offering vivid characters, imagery, vocabulary and scenery. Poor Charlie Gordon is given an operation which turns him from a mentally subnormal dishwasher into concentratoon genius, but the treatment turns out to be flawed. Camp Concentration Cover of first edition hardcover.


Be warned, however, that the depths of hell in which Disch leaves the reader upon the last page are nothing compared to the suffering and agony of spirit Sanchetti undergoes in the prison. Aug 13, Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it Shelves: I have a feeling this is one of those books that is only going to become more popular as the decades go by. Tom’s prose is knife sharp, and allusions to Dante, Marlowe, Rilke, Goethe, et al.

It wouldn’t surprise me. Disch is one of the overlooked masters of science fiction, and Camp Concentration is one of his finest novels. Is he a revolutionary, in spite of his claims to the contrary? In this alternate America, the country didn’t stop with Vietnam. The director of the camp, General Humphrey Haast – or “HH” as Sacchetti calls him – has had Louis brought there in order for him to In this alternate America, the country didn’t stop with Vietnam.

Poetlapsed Catholic and conscientious objector Louis Sacchetti is sent to a secret military installation called Camp Archimedeswhere military prisoners are injected with a form of syphilis intended to make them geniuses hence the punning reference to “concentration” in the novel’s title.