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3.27  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  35 reviews
A dystopian vision of perfection from the acclaimed author of Boy A.
In the Britain of a few tomorrows time, physical perfection is commonplace and self improvement has become an extinct expression: all the qualities men and women could aspire to can be purchased prior to birth.

GENUS is a time of genetic selection and enrichment - life chances come on a sliding scale accord
276 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  390 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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J.F. Penn
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Well written and thought provoking sci-fi, in a dystopian future world. The riots in London this last week and the right wing politics of
a) welfare parents should have fewer children
b) class separation between haves and have nots
along with the images of fire, burning, arrests, looting and chaos all fit dramatically into this book. I felt I was reading something almost prescient. It challenges what your own prejudices are.
It's written from the point of view of different characters - the stunt
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
My main problem with this book was that I had no idea what the story was really about until about two-thirds of the way through. Up until that point, you're just reading about a number of seemingly random people, a couple of whom have no real impact on the story at all and simply serve to show more about the world. No bad thing I suppose, I just think it would have been cleaner to cut the people and get the requisite information in another way.

Because the world created in this story is pretty in
Jaime Boler
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gretchen Gerbi, an elderly woman who lives in a London apartment complex, busies herself by playing an old video game called "Civilization." Gretchen has not gotten far into the game. Her tribe is still quite primitive. She knows it is not the way to win the game, but she directs her people to farm and form settlements rather than make war on other tribes. For Gretchen, Civilization is just a way to pass the time. She never really succeeds because the game crashes when her power dims. "After reb ...more
Phillip Edwards
Dec 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, sf, 2011
Genus is set in a BladeRunneresque future London rid of religion following a series of 'Caliphate Wars' which have lain waste to half of mainland Europe. People have ID chips in their arms, drink synthetic alcohols and children can be genetically 'enriched'.

There are a number of vividly memorable characters, the main ones being Holman Prometheus and Detective Günther Charles Bonnet. Holman, the son of a famous model (and the last ever winner of 'Miss Natural') is a deformed and dwarfish artist
K.J. Charles
Less to it than meets the eye. Not enough plot--lots of terrible dystopian meaningful stuff isn't the same as a story--and it was clever but tbh it gave me the Dr Seuss feeling. (You know, how Dr Seuss does rhymes by just making up a goddamn word if he can't think of one, so it's not actually that impressive that it all rhymes.) It's not that hard to make a story read like fabulously clever allegory of racism and determination and terrorism if you set all the goalposts in the first place.

Meh, b
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have a video review!
Karen Wickham
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
What a confused jumble of a story. The premise was interesting. A near future Britain where genetic improvement can be bought and the Unimproved become a sub class.

There were several parts of the story that I thought sounded interesting and wanted to see how they played out. But then nothing further was made of them.

This is an interesting journey into "What if", but so much more could have been done with it.
Peter Venus
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Jonathon Trigell and still my favourite. This dystopian picture of a future where money buys choice, buys life is both chilling and frighteningly possible. It is dark and grubby in places with a horror that is all too real, an absolute gem.
Alex Murphy
Genus seems to be one of those books that has a good setting and environment, but has very little to no plot to speak of and at times can irritate.
The world imagined here, a near future Britain where social equality is magnified due to genetic engineering the best characteristics into children (called the Improved) can only be afforded by the rich or go those who go heavily into debt. The story is set in the Kross, a sort of refugee camp in Kings Cross, London where normal humans (or Unimproved
Aug 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
This review was originally posted on Lucybird's Book Blog

I've heard a lot of good things about Boy A (which was Trigell's first novel) so when Genus was sent to for review I thought why not? I've not actually read Boy A so I don't know if it's worth of the praise it has received but knowing about it probably did heighten my expectations a little when it came to reading Genus.

At first I really can't say I was much of a fan. The chapters kept jumping from character to character- sometimes with a h
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I am reliably informed that Genus is Jonathan Trigell's third book, though it is the first that I have downloaded and read after receiving a Kindle for Christmas. I will confess to not having heard of Trigell before this. Quite simply, the book description sounded interesting, it was cheap, so I bought it and read it.

The aspect that drew me to the book was the simple fact that it is set in a near future dystopian society where genetic modification has become the norm. This has lead to a distinc
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We follow misshapen Holman, a poor artist living in The Kross where he scrapes a living (mainly by begging from his very rich and beautiful mother, a former model). His life isn’t easy and it doesn’t help that people start dying around him. Not just anyone, but people he knows and deals with regularly. His artwork gets destroyed in a riot and he relies on synth (an alcoholic drink) to get through the day. Soon he’s a suspect in the murder cases and he leaves home to hide at a friend’s house.

We a
David Hebblethwaite
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jonathan Trigell is best known for Boy A, his debut about a young offender trying to reintegrate into society after spending most of his life in prison. For his third novel, however, Trigell has turned his hand to science fiction. In a future London stifled by a series of wars and unchanging government, advances in genetic technology mean that perfection is available to anyone who can afford it. Those who can’t, the ‘Unimproved’, end up somewhere like The Kross (King’s Cross as was). Genus follo ...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
Genus appealed to me because it's set in futuristic dystopian London, specifically in King's Cross – now known simply as The Kross. Many of you may associate King's Cross with Harry Potter and The Hogwarts Express, but The Kross is anything but magical. It's dirty, dull, and impoverished; a reluctant home to The Unimproved. You see, in Trigell's world, physical perfection is easy to attain – for the rich. For a price, your children can be free of disability and disease through genetic selection. ...more
Nick Davies
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I purchased this on the strength of having been blown away by Jonathan Trigell's novel 'Boy A' (which I heartily recommend) but realised only thirty or so pages into this one that it would be a very different book indeed.

The aforementioned 'Boy A' was an affecting and challenging tale of a young offender's attempts to rebuild his life after prison. This, in contrast, is a fantastical tale of a dystopian future where social class is determined greatly by genetic purity and associated aspects, and
Mar 18, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for a fresh take on the future distopian view and I am also a fan of this author after his debut, Boy A, so I was hoping for great things from this book. It delivered enjoyment and frustration in equal measure.

In Trigell's future world, society has faced two critical battles; a military conflict pitting Islam against Christianity in the Caliphate wars, and the social battle for genetic domination by the wealthy. The author's gift is that he allows us to discover the impact of these
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
A pretty entertaining dark-future novel, with elements of Gattaca and Brave New World, but all set a bit closer to the present (and very close to home). The book is one of those written from the perspectives of different characters, which works well in this type of story to give you an understanding of how different parts of society are affected by the main premise.... That voluntary genetic modification allows the rich to build designer children, while the poor are left with 'unimproved' childr ...more
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book was a gift, something I may possibly have chosen myself but it has not made me keen to read any of his other books.
The story itself isn't bad, some of the characters are interesting (though not interesting enough to care what happened to them) and the landscape they inhabit is well described. I didn't like the jumping around from one character to another, I found it jarring. I hated the repetitive phrases especially with regard to the asshole cop, who was relentlessly unlikable. There
Paul Owens
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting vision of near-future London filled with haunting characters such as Holman, a Kings Cross toulouse lautrec; Crick the blind soldier; and the Regans, a clan of cloned criminals who can never be prosecuted as no one can tell them apart.
All of these characters are in either physical or emotional pain and it could be grim going but there's enough humour and wonder along the way to keep you enthralled and although the murder-mystery aspect is a let-down the book is an interesting look a
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
A gritty, stark and pretty bleak look at the have and have nots of the future. It's a decent plot and interestingly written, but I struggled to get into it and it was only towards the end that I started to warm to the characters. Good in bits, but boring in others, at times I felt like skipping on a few pages as the book meandered on. The plot definitely loses it's way in the middle, and although it gets interesting again if you stick with it, considering the rave reviews, I ultimately felt a bi ...more
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I actually read this twice, as I'd forgotten I'd read it the first time. That says the concept is strong, and the fact I continued says it has some solid writing and a good mystery "hook". However in the 2nd half you struggle to sympathise with the characters and the world spirals from plausible to a WWII similitude which is painfully obvious. Promising but fails to deliver something memorable
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly enjoyable - not new ground, exactly, but well-written and nicely paced, with enough strangeness and distance to make it worthwhile. Beautifully, and credibly, pessimistic about humanity's innate need to grind the downtrodden still further as a means of self-definition. Very Warren Ellis-esque (and that's a good thing), although without quite the same ascerbic edge (not so much).
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
Well I was really looking forward to reading this after a lot of positive reviews but from some reason it just failed to click with me, I enjoyed it could see where the author was coming from but for me it just failed to work the way I wanted it to.

Definitely one for you to pick up and make up your own mind on but for me its a definite good but could have been better.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed it. Especially as some parts seem spookily-relevant with relation to recent riots in the UK. Will re-read it post-dissertation as I'm not 100% my brain's still functioning properly at the moment :)
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Not exactly cheery but thought-provoking and beautifully written.
Sue Watson
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've just finished reading this on my Amazon Reader, brilliant book, really mental and what an amazing first book an his MA thesis by the way for an author to watch out for, fab! I loved it.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Annoying style - excessive simile.

Had to drop it half way through.
Unable to care about any of the characters.
Kadie D♥
Oct 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dropped-stories
I actually gave up on this novel and returned it to the library.
Ming Siu
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting premise, and as it progresses, you discover how the different characters are related to each other. Yet, it feels like the same point/theme over and over again.
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Jonathan Trigell is a British author. His first novel, entitled Boy A, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2004, the Waverton Good Read Award and the inaugural World Book Day Prize in 2008.

Jonathan completed an MA in creative writing at Manchester University in 2002. He spent most winters in Alps working in the Ski Industry and now lives in Chamonix, France.

Boy A is the story of a child criminal rel
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