The Dying Light
"England in the near future is eerily familiar. There are concerns over terrorism, the press is feisty, and the prime minister is soon to call a general election. But quietly - and largely unknown to the public or even most in government - things have become undeniably Orwellian. Cameras with license plate recognition software record every car's movements; a sophisticated...more
Henry Porter's fifth novel is intended, so the author tells us in the afterword, to fulfil three purposes. It is obviously a thriller readable as a standalone story, but is additionally intended as a contrast to his previous novel Brandenburg and as something of a political call to arms. It is set in a near future Britain, where high-powered lawyer (and former spy) Kate Lockhart returns to the country after several years working in the States ...more
This book didn't grip me from the outset, rather it wormed its way into my thoughts at odd times. There's something quintessentially British about it - something of Le Carréor Deighton, and that compels me to carry on reading it without any of the clinging nature or dashing, headlong pace of a work by an American. the story is powerful and worryingly so and like ...more
It truly was an eerie novel. I think the idea that fascinated me the most was the idea of how government courts (in this case- parliament, but could easily be congress or the Supreme Court) made massive decisions in the name of "caring for the people" without ever needing "the p ...more
This is not a horror story, it is not a forensic detective novel nor is it full of gristly details of death and murder scenes. But it is still one of the scariest, most disturbing novels I have read in a long, long time. ...more
The Bell Ringers, set in Britain, is how one man imagines a corrupt government could get away with collecting and ultimately misusing data about its citizens. We're talking drones, spy cameras on every corner, tapped phone li ...more
England in the near future is rapidly approaching a total police state--all phone, internet and travel is monitored on every citizen, false terror plots are created by the prime minister to suspend all rights, and a small group of truth-tellers (The Bell Ringers) fights to restore democracy.
In an afterword, the author says that as of 2009, when he was concluding the writing, all of the laws highlighted in the novel already existed on the ...more
Henry Porter brings Orwell’s 1984 into the 21st century and, if his afterward is to be believed (and why not?), much of this book is fact based. Although I found this book a little difficult to get into I ...more
Anyway. If you really ...more
The concept of citizens trading freedom for safety is not restricted to Great Britain. It frequently seems as if this disease has infected the entire Western World... although here in Canada we seem to have been spared the worst of these excesses, there is no question that we heading in that direction.
As a political science teacher I just wish I had the budge ...more
John Lee is a fantastic reader. If you like audio books, he's wonderful, but this may have been better to read for sheer ability to follow the story. I found myself wanting to flip back a page to check a fact.
It is set in a near future England and deals with the loss of civil liberties through the state's ability to bring together data on us from different government databases, emails, phone calls, number plate recognition systems et al, and highlights the very real worries for democracy contained in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004
(Copied from my review under the book's original title - The ...more
Set a few years in the future, this is the story of Kate Lockhart, who returns to England from several years in the US to find it transformed into a police state. Her old friend and lover has apparently been killed in a terrorist attack in Columbia.
It's a realistic depiction of where technology and current trends are taking us. It's gone much further in the UK than in the US, but still pretty scary.
Chilling. If you're concerned about loss of privacy you either should read this book, or avoid it like the plague for fear of being spooked.
Thanks to my friend, A, for rating it so highly that I knew I must read it!
An engrossing and thoughtful tale set in England of the near future. How much freedom will individuals surrender to the state to "feel safe, have food on the table and watch TV?" A political thriller of the highest order. By the author of Brandenburg Gate (2006).
Loved this and highly recommend it.