The Panopticon

The Panopticon

A Novel

eBook - 2013
Average Rating:
9
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Like everyone else in the Panopticon, 15-year-old Anais Hendricks has been in and out of foster care practically since birth. "[B]orn in a nuthouse to nobody that was ever seen again," she had her only successful foster placement with a prostitute later stabbed to death (Anais found the body). She's been sent to this facility, where the inmates are under constant surveillance, because she had a bad history with a policewoman who has been bludgeoned into a coma, and Anais--almost permanently whacked on whatever drug she can lay her hands on--can't explain why she has blood on her skirt. Amid the institution's crescent-shaped buildings and all-seeing watchtower, Anais befriends a group of ragtag ruffians and delves into her past, endlessly stoned and concerned she's being watched by an entity she calls "the experiment."
Publisher: New York : Hogarth, 2013
ISBN: 9780385347877
0385347871
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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r
rjamesevans
Sep 09, 2016

I am amazed that I liked this book so much. At first I was put off by the Scottish brogue, by the foul language and by the very nature of the main character. However, all my objections went away as I became absorbed in and affected by story.

It is a wonderfully written book

u
uncommonreader
Jun 14, 2015

The story of a child, let down by everyone for all of her 15 years, but a survivor. The voice of Anais is authentic. A righteous book.

p
Peregrine
Jul 25, 2014

An exquisitely written, authentically voiced tale of a young woman struggling to find a sense of self when she has never known either parent and has spent much of her life in foster care or juvenile detention. Harrowing and heartbreaking and surprisingly hopeful as this tough, smart and ultimately ethical character navigates a society more focused on locking her up than giving her a leg up.

l
lukasevansherman
May 13, 2014

The panopticon was a type of prison created by English writer/thinker Jeremy Bentham, who described it as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example." Later, controversial philosopher Michel Foucault used it as a metaphor for control. This book is not as interesting as these guys and squanders a good premise. Oh, hope you're comfortable with the c-word.

m
miranda57
Jan 29, 2014

Picked this book up randomly off the New Book Shelf. Wow! Like striking gold! Yes, this is a dark tale of a fierce teenage girl who is struggling to find her way out of a dark world of drugs, violence, and the foster home/juvenile court system. Beautifully written!

SLS71 Jan 16, 2014

I love this book. Finished it last night and it's stuck in my head to the point that I don't want to start my new book! Anais is a fantastic heroine. A reviewer on here said she's fierce; she truly is. There are some very harrowing moments/incidents that are difficult to read (which is not a negative), but there is also a lot of grace and humor. I laughed out loud more than once. This girl is a bit twisted, and I wish I knew her in real life.

quagga Sep 28, 2013

A compelling first novel told in the voice of a fierce young Scottish lesbian.

j
JCLRachelSH
Sep 26, 2013

Anais Hendricks is a 15 year old drug fiend who pulls other girls' hair and beats them to within an inch of their lives. She juggles girlfriends and boyfriends and wears a treasured Indian headdress while prancing around in her undies on acid. She's Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Panopticon, kids! When Anais lands herself in a group home for problem teens with a spooky watchtower a strict open-door policy, the novel's dystopic vibe kicks into high gear and we watch as her layers are peeled back and reality dissolves around her. It's Scottish poet Jenni Fagan's first novel, and she makes dirty-mouthed teenagers sound more profound than Homeric bards. With Anais she's created my favorite kind of heroine — a bad girl in a worse place who claws her way out by her own off-kilter code of honor.

i
Iowakid
Jun 25, 2013

I was at first a little reluctant to read this due to inapproprate language. After about 15 pages I realized this was completely necessary to understand the character...then I was hooked and could not put the book down til I could find out what happened!

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