Book Review: Misspent Youth

Misspent Youth

By Peter F. Hamilton

Misspent YouthThe book jacket description led  me to believe this would be my kind of science fiction –  the kind that uses the sci-fi element to explore human psychology and sociology, rather than just being an adventure story set in space or the future (though those can be enjoyable too). And it could have done that, if it hadn’t gotten sidetracked by male hormones. Apparently the author feels that the only thing a man suddenly made young again will want to do is have sex with as many women and girls as possible. Admittedly, this could be true in many cases (though I like to think that while wanting lots of sex may be universal, some men would at least be monogamous in such a situation). The patchwork attempt to lend the story some larger overarching purpose or message via the European Union/Brussels/independence protests storyline seems more like an afterthought, a thin attempt to put a more sophisticated veneer on what is basically a catalog of sexual conquests by the protaganist. Maybe I dislike this book so much because it has more realism regarding humanity’s darker tendencies (lying, cheating, gratuitous/meaningless sex, violence), but I’ve read plenty of books with those elements before that I still enjoyed. The difference is that they at least had some redeeming factor, usually in the form of a protaganist I could actually like or relate to. Overall, this was a disappointing read – I kept waiting for the payoff that would make reading it worthwhile, but it never came.

I give it 1/5 stars.


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Misspent Youth

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