In an attempt to reform society, the government has divided the population into four groups, each group representing a different personality type. The land too, has been divided into quarters. Borders have been established, reinforced by concrete walls, armed guards and rolls of razor wire.
Plunged into this brave new world, the boy tries to make the best of things, unaware that ahead of him lies a revelation that will change everything he believes in and will, in the end, put his very life in jeopardy.
A remarkable genre-defying novel about the country we live in.
©2006 Rupert Thompson;
This is an excellent tale. Set in the all too near future it relates the story from the first person of a young boy separated from his parents to adulthood. The characters are brilliantly written and the story evolves well. The descriptive nature of the writing helps to put you in the man's shoes and the reading style is fantastic with an emotive and well voiced sound and depth - I am now a fan of both author and narrator.
An extremely strange premise told with total commitment. If you like the surrealism of Murakami or Ishiguro (or even Harry Potter, with which it shares some odd details), definitely worth a listen. I should provide a warning that while largely eerie rather than violent there are very disturbing scenes towards the end.
Agree with the reviewer that the ending disappoints, the fragile spell petering out just a little too soon. I'll give it 4 stars though, when it's working it's one of the most haunting, memorable books I've ever listened to. The reading is excellent, expertly holding the dreamlike mood.
I had read Soft by the same author and loved it. This book takes a similar dystopian future vision, but on a grander scale. There is something about the deft writing style that breathes credibility into a preposterous foundation. For long sections it was breathtaking. Then it suddenly ran out of steam, the coincidences started piling-up and it was gone. I'm still glad to have heard it though - it's a flawed treasure.
"Not what I expected"
This book really wasn't what I expected and didn't interest me as much as I'd hoped, but it was engaging enough.
It has a similar air to 1984 and Brave New World: control of society, looking at humanity, indulging in the forbidden...
I thought that a book written as recently as this might have a more scientific premise: their society is split up by humours (ie the hundreds-years old medical theory), which was a pretty unbelievable premise, but beyond that the analysis of the human condition and finding of self was interesting.
An oddball plot set in the future. Obviously written before the tech. boom, but the plot still works. Very thought provoking. Main character really interesting. The sort of book I will revisit and expect to 'get' something new from next time.
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