Perhaps more than any other book I’ve read this year, Monoculture makes me want to say that.
Which is ironic: because Monoculture is about one story. (And I know how much you all love to read stories.)
The premise of F.S. Michaels’ work is that our culture is shaped by a single, master story.
It’s one “narrative in society that takes over the others, shrinking diversity and forming a monoculture”.
And that sentence is about the most complex that you’ll find in this work. But its ideas stretch far beyond the page.
For a subject so expansive, you might expect that the text would be dense, filled with multisyllabic words beginning with post- and micro-, and the notes longer than the body.
But the prose is succinct and clear. Even if you are hesitant to pick up non-fiction and are more comfortable diving into fiction, you will have no problem following the thread of this story.
And it really is all about story.
It begins with an amazing epigraph from Nigerian writer Ben Okri: “It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are.” (But if you’re reading here, I’m betting you haven’t forgotten that.)
The epigraph just gets better, but let me jump ahead to the opening chapter which takes on this idea of a monoculture...
[And this picks up here. This one is a likely candidate for one of my top books of 2011, so I have quite a lot to say about it!]