Book Review: Idlewild (Sagan) & A Voyage to Arcturus (Lindsay)

A voyage to Arcturus (dragon)

While these two books couldn’t be farther apart in terms of both plot and writing styles, they both bring to mind “the Quantum Observer Effect,” in that the protagonists of both stories question not only the nature of reality, but their perception of it.
Reading Idlewild peels back the layers of reality “like waking from a dream within a dream within a dream,” as our Hero “Halloween” gradually “debunks” his environment, and even the personalities of those around him, to grand effect, while A Voyage to Arcturus is a metaphysical journey of sorts… On a distant planet under  strange suns, earth-man Maskull’s journey is fraught with perils and surreal adventures, wherein the act of merely drinking “water” brings different insights as he progresses through the alien terrain. Is the reality changing? Is his perception of it? Or, both?

Both books serve to convey just how much our world really does change, merely by shifting one’s perception, and what impact that has on it. What we do with how we see the world has real consequences, on the survival and evolution of not just mankind, but our planet, and by extension, the universe. Idlewild appeals to millennials that their thoughts and actions really DO make a difference, while A Voyage to Arcturus reminds us that it is never too late to open both your heart and your mind, and make a difference.

-Jane Says


Idlewild, by Nick Sagan, was published in 2003. It is the first of a trilogy, with sequels Edenborn and Everfree. He is the son of Carl Sagan.
A Voyage to Arcturus (mind)
A Voyage to Arcturus was published in 1920 by David Lindsey.