Children of God
P. D. James
In the latter stages of her writing career James, typically a writer of the mystery genre, wrote The Children of God. As such, it reads like a detective novel, much in the realms of Dorothy Sawyer and Agatha Christie. Set in 2021, we quickly attain that no children have been born since 1995. This last generation is known as the Omega. Action driven, it narrates the journey of a small group of characters, the Five Fishes via the diary entries of Theo (Theodore) Faron.
Continue reading ““Friday 1 January 2021””
The Silent History
Eli Horowitz, Kevin Moffett, and Matthew Derby
The Silent History follows a global phenomenon. Typically we expect babies to start making basic vowel sounds at two months. However, significant groups of children unable to make this fundamental progress by 30months were thus diagnosed as Silent: completely unable to make a sound or hear voices as a form of communication. It’s not long before first hundreds, then thousands of children were diagnosed.
The Silent History answers the question of; what might we do if a large proportion of the world is born with the inability to communicate at all with everyone else.
Continue reading ““I was completed dazed for the actual birth so I didn’t know that Spencer was born without making any noise …””
Wake up, Sir!
Every artist’s greatest fear is to be a fluke—to be lucky, rather than talented. They even say success early in an artists life can ruin a career; the pressure to maintain the reputation too great to bear.
Alan Blair is one of those artists. The novel follows a week in the life of the Princeton graduate as he battles his anxieties and alcoholism to write his second book; all looked on by his trusty valet, Jeeves.
Continue reading ““Jeeves, my valet, sounds the alarm.””
My Brilliant Friend
My Brilliant Friend, written by Elena Ferrante, (and translated from Italian by Amy Goldstein) is the first of the Neapolitan novels, covering the meeting and adolescence of Lenu and Lila.
Continue reading ““If I were to call her Lina or Raffaella, suddenly, like that, she would think our friendship was over.””
A Canticle for Leibowitz
A Canticle for Leibowitz is the story of an unlikely saint. Isaac Leibowitz is the unwitting source of inspiration for the religious monastery (and central focus on the novel), the Albertan Order of Leibowitz; an order of monks whose sole purpose is to preserve human knowledge by hiding ‘memorabilia’ from the self-named Simpletons of the post-apocalyptic Earth. Continue reading ““Brother Francis Gerard of Utah might never have discovered the blessed documents, had it not been for the pilgrim … “”
Starting to read Ridley Walker is like starting to learn a new language. Like learning Polish when you already know Hungarian; everything is familiar, but the words are assembled in an apparently nonsensical order. The language is Riddleyspeak: a degraded Pidgin English vernacular; a mishmash of phonetically spelled words, and deconstructed compound phrases. Spoken out loud, it actually sounds a lot like a north-western English accent (which is a great tip for finishing Riddley Walker: read it out loud).
Continue reading ““On my naming day … “”
by Beth Lewis
The ‘Big Stupid’ occurred in the 1980’s. Whilst Thatcher and Reagan reined, the Cold War erupted and many of the bombs meant for USA landed in Canada, specifically, British Columbia; creating the backdrop for Lewis’ novel; Wolf Road.
Continue reading ““Pictures all over his face, no skin left no more, just ink and blood.””