I had expected a dystopia that toys with current ongoing worries about climate change and global warming. In that regard it didn't let me down and gavI had expected a dystopia that toys with current ongoing worries about climate change and global warming. In that regard it didn't let me down and gave me this unruly feeling most dystopias manage to cause. Maybe this even more as it puts its finger right on the pulse of the time. However, it offers so much more than that. With few words, rough paint strokes, Megan Hunter creates her pictures, this oppressive atmosphere of a grey bleakness as well as moments of panic and depression. But underlying it all is this sense of - and I can't find a different word that would sound less corny - hope. It is all in the description of Z's developments. Time passes and despite what the state of the world is, the child grows and goes through those stages we all had to go through - teething, crawling, learning to stand up.
It reminded me of The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot. It is less a novel and more a kind-of poem. A lot is cut out and left entirely to the imagination of the reader. I admit that I got confused more than once at the sudden "jumps" in narration but it all fell back into place upon reading on. The writing is fantastic and fits perfectly the story Megan Hunter tells. I'm in absolute awe and glad I found this gem. The only thing that caused some frowning on my part were the (I think?) quotes. I would have loved a bibliography what had been taken from where unless it was all from the Bible. In that case, ignore me... I'm no expert but I think I recognised more than one religion in those quotes/references hence why I would have liked to be able to check what the sources were without having to google it all myself. (I'm lazy... I admit that too.)...more
My thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for granting me the opportunity to read this e- book as an advance reading copy. It was, admittedly, the coveMy thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for granting me the opportunity to read this e- book as an advance reading copy. It was, admittedly, the cover that first piqued my interest. The description sounded like something I might enjoy and I wasn't wrong with that notion. It did take me a few pages to get into the unique writing style and adjust to the (ahem) colourful language. I don't have a problem with swear words as per se (on the contrary) but there were loads of those. It was my first encounter with Jack Taylor and his "verse" but the author managed the balancing act of briefly explaining to new readers who is who and what the dealings with the respective character and Jack had been in the preceding 12 books without boring readers who already knew about it. Just like the writing itself the storytelling is unique. Where other authors of the genre dwell on building suspense, strew in details and try to lay false trails, Ken Bruen is refreshingly "no sh*t and f*cks given". That too needs a little getting used to since it is something else. Despite a lack of "building up" the characters get their unique personas even in the brief descriptions and encounters the reader is granted. For more depth I suspect I would have (will have, more likely) to read the entire series - beginning with book #1 called 'The Guards'. Jack Taylor probably belongs to the category "love or hate" with nothing in between. The unique writing, the characters, the swearing and the many deaths (no spoilers hence keeping this rather vague) and the entire lack of keeping somewhat the protocol of police work up or at least the pretence thereof might be major put offs for many but despite my love for protocol and storybuilding, I enjoyed this book immensely. The things that I didn't like was the fast pace towards the end. It felt rushed through to get to a quick end before running out of pages (or time?) and at times I would have liked a tad more of what is going on in Jack and the other persons. A few times Ken Bruen seemed to have lost the golden thread and picked up loose ends here and there along the way which made it confusing and took me a moment or two longer to swing back into the narration and keep track of what is going on. I didn't expect the hint of X Files vibe at the very end but loved it all the same. Same goes for the - in my eyes - smart use of news headlines (such as the deaths of David Bowie or Prince or President Cheetos' run for his current job) to establish a time line and show the reader how much time has passed between events. It helped that those events are still relatively fresh in my memory - a different story for someone who might read the book in a couple of years from now. Anyway a surprisingly great read I hadn't expected to be so "on point" with its own narration when I started reading it....more