Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver released on Tuesday and everyone is already raving about it! In anticipation for this book a few Delirium fans got together and created the Pandemonium Club. Over the past week, the Pandemonium Club has been busy blogging, reviewing, and sharing their love for Pandemonium.
Brenna: Delirium was hands-down my favourite book of 2011. I was completely enchanted by your creative world and inspiring characters. What was your inspiration for Delirium?
Lauren Oliver: Thank you so much! The idea for DELIRIUM came from an essay I read by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in which he wrote that all great books were about love or death. The next day I was thinking about that quote–particularly about how and in what form a modern love story could be told–while I was on the treadmill at the gym. I was simultaneously watching a news story about a flu outbreak that had everyone freaking out about the possibility of a pandemic, and I was kind of marveling that people so easily go into panics about reports of these diseases, and at some point the two trains of thought–love, and disease–just sort of combined in my head.
Brenna: The idea of a world without love is one that terrifies me, and I mean that literally. There is something so dark and empty about it- what kind of world would be the most terrifying for you to live in? Does it resemble the world of Delirium at all?
LO: A world without love would be pretty terrible, I have to say. A world without imaginative escapes–books, reading, writing–is equally terrifying to me.
Brenna: I have to ask about Alex. How did you ever manage to write about my ideal guy? What are some of your favourite characteristics of him, Lena, and Hana?
LO: I can write about the ideal guy because I’m getting to marry him! 🙂 I love Alex’s patience and quiet strength. He’s a good person: moral, thoughtful, brave. I love Hana because she’s a firecracker; she has energy and enthusiasm, is passionate about music and fun. And I love Lena because she’s so complex, and she allows herself to change and grow, and she proves to be exceptionally brave.
Brenna: Whenever I read a review of Delirium, one of the most common reactions that comes up is in regards to THAT ending. (Confession: I cried myself to sleep that night.) Being the author, were you still affected in some way by the ending? How did writing the story of Lena in Delirium affect you overall?
LO: I always knew what the ending HAD to be. Of course, it’s always very sad to finish a book,
Brenna: Is there anything in particular that you really hope readers will take away from Delirium after reading it?
LO: I think the message of Delirium is ultimately one about individuality and thinking for oneself; the most dangerous ideas are the ones that people adopt unquestioningly.
LO: The Book does not appear in Pandemonium, no, although it will reappear in Requiem. I originally conceived of the Book of Shhhh as a way of giving social and religious background to the world of Delirium without “cluttering” the text with lengthy explanations.
Angel: Lena learns about poetry and romance from Alex, and both of those ideas shape Lena’s later actions. What’s one poem that you were affected by at Lena’s age?
LO: i carry your heart with me, by ee cummings, and Porphyria’s Lover, by Robert Browning.
Angel: What are some of the challenges of writing dystopian fiction as opposed to contemporary fiction?
LO: In some ways it is a more rigorous imaginative exercise, as it requires you to do an immense amount of reconceiving of the world in which the book takes place. I really enjoyed that challenge, however.
There you go! Some insight into dystopian fiction, the characters in Delirium/Pandemonium, and Lauren Oliver’s inspirations. Thank you to Angel and Brenna for sharing this with us and thank you to Lauren for participating!
I would also like to send a huge thank you to the entire Pandemonium Club for their amazing support for this book, and for letting the Savvy Reader be a part of the club. Now we can’t wait for Book 3!
Need more Pandemonium in your life? Check out any of the other Pandemonium Club posts from my fellow bloggers!