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The Testament of Jessie Lamb
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The Testament of Jessie Lamb

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,569 Ratings  ·  308 Reviews
Millions of pregnant women in the not-too-distant future are dying from a rogue virus released in an act of biological terrorism. Nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake.

Jessie Lamb is just an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in extraordinary times, who begins to question her parents' attitudes and behavior in her struggle to become independent.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Canongate Books Ltd. (first published January 1st 2011)
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Petra X
A dystopian tale of ultimate misogyny gone wrong.

It is the appalling end-tale to all those Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese people and others who abort female fetuses or commit infanticide on their girl babies. The disgustingly low place we occupy in the minds of those men who run society and invent religions and the women who lacking power, status and the economic means to challenge these vile and murderous authorities and must therefore, in order to survive themselves, back the status quo.

If fem
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am an English teacher, so if there is one thing in which I am well-versed, it is literary symbolism. Teach it, love it, know it. When done well, it's subtle enough to present a challenge but not so obvious that a third grader can spot it.

In the case of The Testament of Jessie Lamb, the symbolism is IN YOUR FACE. You can't avoid it, even if you prefer your books simple and approachable. It permeates this book like stink from a skunk.

Let's start with the first obvious symbol: Jessie Lamb. The na
Jenny (Reading Envy)
When I saw the Booker Longlist for 2011, I was most excited about this book. It took a while to track it down since not many libraries in the states had purchased it yet!

I love a good dystopian novel, but I think this one is a little less than good. The premise is interesting - every human has been infected with MDS, a disease which lies dormant in the body until a woman becomes pregnant, and she dies soon after. Humanity is having to face the idea of becoming extinct, and it doesn't take long f
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by the premise of the book and felt the author raised some very intriguing issues, none of which was covered in any depth.

The first half of the book was quite gripping as the author set up a vivid world which could have gone in any number of challenging and meaningful directions. None of these progressed anywhere as the first person structure of the book led Jessie to turn her attentions back on herself. I wonder if the clever title of the book has in fact limited the author. Th
I don't know what to think about this. The more I think about it, the less sure about it I become: I actually read it more or less in one go, and didn't want to put it down while reading it, but on reflection I'm not sure how convincing I found it or what I really thought of Jessie's decisions. I found her convincing -- she really did seem like a typical teenager, full of the desire to change the world, contemptuous of the adults who got it all wrong. I found the world convincing, too: the idea ...more
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC radio listeners
Part of the Dangerous Visions series

The Testament of Jessie Lamb

BBC BLURB: Jane Rogers dramatises her award winning novel. Society is splintering, apocalyptic sects with fundamentalist, ecological or anti-scientific beliefs are springing up. Panic, chaos and fear reign. When Jessie's own world begins to fall apart and her best friend Sal experiences a shocking act of violence, Jessie realises it is time to take action.

Directed by Nadia Molinari

1: Jane Rogers dramatises her award winning dystop
INTRODUCTION: As noted in the recent post discussing novels by Alison Pick, Julian Barnes and Patrick McGuiness, the annual Booker longlist is one the most important sources of books I would probably not hear about otherwise.

So when The Testament of Jessie Lamb appeared on the 2011 list, I became very intrigued by the novel and I decided to read it as soon as possible. The blurb below while generally accurate, is a little misleading in that the novel is a very personal one where Jessie Lamb's ta
Tudor Ciocarlie
A very strong Booker longlist novel. The only reason that I've gave it 4 stars is because I've read it after the brilliant Random Acts of Senseless Violence. No other young female voice living the beginning of an apocalypse and the disintegration of the society can be as good as Lola in the Jack Womack's book. But Jesse story, of a girl fighting herself, her parents, her friends in order to save the world, is very well written and full with interesting, thought provoking ideas.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William Clemens
I was hoping for a lot from this book, and was interested after the whole controversy about the Arthur C Clarke award, and it just didn't deliver.

Imagine a world where there is a virus, triggered during pregnancy, which destroys the brain of the mother, killing both her and her child. Imagine that young girls are being implanted with pre-disease embryos in order to save the human race and religious and social group are rising up in violent protest. Imagine reading about all of this from the pers
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Jane Rogers is an award winning author of nine novels, including The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Man-Booker longlisted and winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award 2012.

Other works include Mr Wroe's Virgins (which she dramatised for the BAFTA-nominated BBC drama series), Her Living Image (Somerset Maugham Award) and Promised Lands (Writers Guild Best Fiction Award). Her story collection Hitting Trees wit
More about Jane Rogers...
“Perfect crime,' he said softly.
'Persuade an innocent, idealistic young girl that the future of the human race depends on her sacrificing her own life. She will come into hospital as trustingly as a lamb to the slaughter. She will welcome the implantation of a baby that will kill her. She'll lie there while her brain is destroyed for nine whole months, and no police will arrest you, no court will judge you, you'll get away scot free. At the end of nine months she'll be taken off life support and she'll be completely dead. And no one will be blamed.”
“You want to save the world."

"What's wrong with that?"

He sighed in exasperation. "You are too young to understand. People get by."

"I don't want to get by. I want to know my life's been useful.”
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