Enough! I’m throwing this on the “did not finish” (DNF) pile and moving on.
In the preface, Tressell – pen name for Robert Noonan, writes:
I designed to show the conditions relating from poverty and unemployment: to expose the futility of the measures taken to deal with them and to indicate what I believe to be the only real remedy, namely – Socialism.
I was less than enthused, but I am not afraid of reading opposing world views; I’ve done it before, and even liked a few, so I continued on. I was encouraged, when later in the preface Tressell says:
The Philanthropists’ is not a treatise or essay, but a novel. My main object was to write a readable story full of human interest and based on the happenings of everyday life, the subject of Socialism being treated incidentally.
Perfect! I can live with that, and I’ll even read with an open mind. Make your case Mr. Tressell. He also promised a “humorous side” to the story. Even better!
250 pages later, very little story, no humor, and nearly endless propaganda based on clichés, anecdotes, and Straw-Man arguments.
I’ve read socialists before – most notably Orwell. But whereas Orwell writes a fascinating story, to subtly profess his ideology, Tressell overtly asserts his ideology, thinly veiled as a story – not at all convincingly or interestingly.
Out of 177 novels, this in only the fourth DNF.