Russell Atkinson's Reviews > Afterland

Afterland by Lauren Beukes
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Nicole (Cole) and her 13-year-old son Miles are South Africans stranded in the USA due to an apocalyptic pandemic three years earlier. The disease killed off almost all the males, so Miles, apparently immune, is a rare and precious commodity under government protection. All Cole wants is to get back home. They break out and begin a journey to the East Coast with Miles disguised as a girl. Meanwhile, her devious sister Billie wants to sell Miles or at least his sperm, for the big bucks. She teams up with some thugettes to chase them cross-country.

The author's style is charitably described as irreverent, but more accurately as in-your-face. She writes almost as though challenging the reader, like we are unwelcome eavesdroppers. The 90-page plot is stretched into 400 pages of irrelevant anecdotal digressions suspiciously resembling filler. The dialogue is peppered with gratuitous cursing, always a sign of a lazy author. The plot is wholly illogical but the book is all about style, not substance.  Some will find the author's prose amusingly sardonic. Me, not so much, but she is at least imaginative. The basic concept is a new twist on the post-apocalyptic genre.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
December 24, 2020 – Shelved
December 24, 2020 – Finished Reading

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