I couldn't decide whether to give 3 or 4 stars, as I enjoyed it and it did keep me intrigued, but it was lacking in a few ways. Even so, I decided on...moreI couldn't decide whether to give 3 or 4 stars, as I enjoyed it and it did keep me intrigued, but it was lacking in a few ways. Even so, I decided on 4 stars as I did keep me reading past my bedtime so it must have done something right!
Some aspects are weak, one being the characterisation of the main protagonists; the development of their blossoming romance lacks credibility as it seems to come from nowhere. Also, the dialogue is a little cringe-worthy in places - Penryn isn't too bad as she is meant to be young, ballsy and snippy - but for me Raffe would be more believable with a world-weary, esoteric style of sarcasm instead of trading boyish insults.
There are mild aspects of horror to the story, in a watered-down Stephen King style - macabre and enjoyable (if you like that sort of thing). Despite my criticisms there is a lot to like, and at the risk of sounding like a teacher, there is great potential here. Not sure at the moment if I will carry on with the next book in the series. I suspect it will depend if I can get book 2 on offer for my Kindle!(less)
Thanks to Goodreads, and the recommendation pages, I found this magical story. It's haunting lyrical prose is amongst the best I have read in a very l...moreThanks to Goodreads, and the recommendation pages, I found this magical story. It's haunting lyrical prose is amongst the best I have read in a very long time. It will be seeking out other works by Beagle in the hope of getting lost in his sublime wordsmithery once again. Recommended for those who love fantasy, magic realism or just darn good story-telling!(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written book about the worlds of London above and London below and just how different/similar they are. Neil Gai...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written book about the worlds of London above and London below and just how different/similar they are. Neil Gaiman has an ability to craft a story that is astonishing in it's credibility no matter how unlikely or macabre. He has an unpretentious but precise style that sometimes reminds me of Douglas Adams.... A finely crafted work of fiction that nevertheless appears effortless in it's execution - a rare thing indeed.
A thought-provoking foray into a futuristic utopia where the possibility of living in harmony with the natural world whilst still enjoying advanced te...moreA thought-provoking foray into a futuristic utopia where the possibility of living in harmony with the natural world whilst still enjoying advanced technology is explored. News from Gardenia isn't a deep or complex novel, but it is an interesting and inviting read, with a main character who is hard not to warm to. Its hard to describe this book as a novel though as it often reads as a polite character-lead essay on the possibility of living a life of sustainability through education, socio-economic revision, scientific advancement and population control.
I was particularly interested to learn more about Gardenia, more so than the futuristic view of the US of A (not what you think) or Beijing. The more I learned about Gardenia as a nonecon (i.e. a non economy) the more I started to view the way we currently live as completely absurd; the politics, power, money and pervasive greed. The idea that we could be free from all that bunkum but still function as a society has never been more compelling! I've never considered myself an advocate of a commune-based existence, but Llewellyn paints a credible - and persuasively attractive - alternate way of life.
My only gripe is the author didn't delve more into the community, relationships and day-to-day life in Gardenia. I just felt I didn't learn enough - I was left wanting more - which may have been his master plan all along, who knows? I would certainly like to return.
I would recommend to anyone with a conscience about what we humans are doing to our planet and those generally interested in life, the universe and everything. Probably my most memorable read so far this year!(less)