Sam's Reviews > Going with Gabriel

Going with Gabriel by Bryan Islip
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's review
Dec 07, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, contemporary-fiction, travel
Read from July 20 to 25, 2010 — I own a copy

Won this in a GR giveaway and was very glad I did. It follows the story of Gabriel, a wandering musician, and his friend Sonny who travel across Britain and Ireland playing to small crowds in pubs, bus stations and wherever else the mood takes, until a record producer records them, and sets them on the road to fame. In the meantime Gabriel’s past as a genetic scientist begins to catch up with him as BIO Corp takes an interest in his work with PXP, a genetically modified virus that results in permanent infertility in humans. This leads him and his friends on a path through intrigue, conspiracy and moral dilemma as he tries to keep out of the limelight, get rid of his past and those interested in it and settle into a more normal life.

The contrast between Gabriel the music man and Gabriel the scientist is interesting and at times they seem like two completely different men. The competing desires of these two sides of Gabriel’s character reflect on the competing desires of every person on Earth and of humanity as a whole. This book raises many issues about mankind and how it lives and uses the Earth’s limited resources and how this should be addressed. Although the solution proposed is one of the more extreme options, it is one that may well be necessary in the future, especially if the future is similar to the one in the latter half of the book.

My only slight problem with this is the concept of Farland itself. I felt it was a little too unrealistic being so cut off from the Outside world and think it is a little unlikely that so many Farlands could be kept secret from the world for so long, especially as some were located in fairly well populated areas. The Dorset Farland is a good example of this as it is located on an ex-military range, likely to be one of two I know of in the county, both of which the public use frequently for walking, rambling etc. But this is being a bit fussy and I would imagine that trying to create a realistic Farland would be very difficult and Islip has tried to keep it as real as possible, accepting that there would be conflicts and differences of opinion even within these communities.

Overall a very good book, one that you can read and enjoy but that also makes you think, not only about your own actions but those of humanity as a whole.
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