This is a story of a society trying to deal with life extensions: people increasingly are getting older and older by various new medical treatments. This means that the people with power grow older, are not making room for new people and order the world for their conservative needs. The protagonist, Mia Ziemann, undergoes at age 94 a radical new experimental treatment, which basically brings back her youth - from the perspective of the body, but also from the feeling of changing life. So at her old age, as former part of the 'gerontocraty' she will live with the young 'vivid' people.
So it is a story of an old woman being young again, but with all the memories and experiences from a long life. It is about old versus young, the struggle of youth within a longlived, conservative environment. It is about changes in a world with increasing longevity. It's also about the youth (believing to) being the first generation to get practically immortal.
It is also a very optimistic future, technological advances will provide you with free basic food, clothing, shelter, transportation etc. Some nice ideas are here, e.g. a transformed Stuttgart, where tamed biological material will care for you.
But then, I am wondering about some things: will there be really interest in refined still photography? Will one not be tracked when walking (instead of using other means of transport)?
Anyway, I don't really understand this book - partially certainly also because of the language, which I found difficult. In essence: not my favourite.
Addendum: now a few months later I think I get a better feeling for the book - and is connected probably to me getting older and making the connection to Relive Your Life The Same. This book describes the possibility to start over again with your live from fresh - but with all the knowledge of a life! So for example, you really could start over, be young again and feel free from all the perceived strings attached, rules your parents told you about, better knowing what turns out to be important and what not. And what not to worry about. This would be really something ...
Nice quote about reading:
"Roman kids read?" Maya encouraged, sorting shoes. "Gosh, how classical of them."
"It's awful, a terrible habit! In virtuality at least you get to interact! Even with television you at least have to use visual processing centers and parse real dialogues with your ears! Really, reading is so bad for you, it destroys your eyes and hurts your posture and makes you fat."
"Don't you think reading can be useful sometimes?"
"Sure, that's what they all say. You get some of these guys and they take lexic tinctures and they can read like a thousand words a minute! But still, they don't ever do anything! They just read about doing things. It's a disease."