Books That Burn

A book review podcast where we discuss how authors treat and traumatize their characters. Part of the Certain Point of View network.

Highlight 12: Unwind - Neal Shusterman

October 18th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman. This is book one of the Unwind Dystology. Robin has been reading Shusterman's work since they were a kid and this was a new one for them.

UNWIND is a dystopian future where abortion is outlawed but teenagers can be "unwound", a state which is distinct from death in ways that are legalistic, technical, and horrifying.

TITLE: Unwind
AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
YEAR: 2007
LENGTH: 335 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Dystopian, Science Fiction
RECOMMENDED: Yes

Book TW for discussion of abortion, discussion of “retroactive abortions”, discussion of “right to life”

Topic 1: Vestigial Existence. Begins at (1:30), CW for Death, loss of self, dismemberment, body horror, medical content

Topic 2: Split identity. Begins at (11:35), CW for Death, loss of self, dismemberment, body horror, medical content, loss of control over body

Topic 3: Dismemberment. Begins at (23:58), CW for Death, dismemberment, mention of abortion, medical trauma

Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (39:45).

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