Tag Archives: Dystopia

The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Power Naomi AldermanOne of the books which kept cropping up frequently in lots of end-of-year book lists last month was ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman and so it got bumped up my TBR list as one of my not-very-festive Christmas holiday reads. The main concept of Alderman’s fourth novel explores what would or could happen in a world where women become more powerful than men in every sense. Due to a mutation caused by a nerve agent used during the Second World War, teenage girls develop the ability to release electrical jolts through their fingertips which can be either harmless or strong enough to kill people. The “power” eventually spreads and although it is initially used by women as a deterrent against violent and abusive men who have oppressed them, it has far-reaching implications beyond that. Continue reading

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The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood Margaret AtwoodI really enjoyed Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood a couple of years ago and have finally got round to reading the second book in her acclaimed MaddAddam trilogy ‘The Year of the Flood’. Set in the same universe as ‘Oryx and Crake’, ‘The Year of the Flood’ follows a lower class eco-religious cult known as the God’s Gardeners and their alternative perspective of the same apocalypse. Only two women from the community, Toby and Ren, survive the catastrophe which was predicted years earlier by the Gardeners who coined it the Waterless Flood. Continue reading

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The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver

The Mandibles Lionel ShriverSet in near-future America, ‘The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047’ by Lionel Shriver follows four generations of an American family who had been waiting to inherit the fortune of 97-year-old patriarch Douglas Mandible. However, a total fiscal meltdown in the form of a cyber attack has wiped out the economy along with the Mandible’s wealth and all communications including the Internet. After the “Great Renunciation” when the President of the United States defaults on the country’s massive debt obligations, the Mandibles are all forced to live together under one roof in order to survive. Continue reading

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel is a post-apocalyptic novel which opens with the sudden death of Arthur Leander, a Hollywood actor starring in a theatre production of ‘King Lear’. He collapses on stage and succumbs to the Georgia Flu, a pandemic which virtually wipes out the human race in a matter of days. The survivors form the Travelling Symphony, a troupe of actors and musicians moving across territories performing classical theatre and concerts, including Kirsten, a child actress who was with Arthur when he died. Continue reading

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Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Oryx and CrakeAs I read and enjoyed ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘The Blind Assassin’ and ‘Cat’s Eye’ before I started writing this blog, I thought it was high time I read more of Margaret Atwood’s work. ‘Oryx and Crake’ is the first book in Atwood’s critically acclaimed  dystopian MaddAddam trilogy of novels and tells the story of Snowman – also known as Jimmy – who is believed to be the only human survivor left in a post-apocalyptic world along with genetically modified creatures called Crakers. As Snowman makes a journey back to the place where the destruction occurred which wiped out the human population, we learn through flashbacks how the world came to be almost destroyed and what happened to his friend Crake and the mysterious Oryx. Continue reading

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The Circle by Dave Eggers

The CircleAfter battling my way through ‘The Luminaries‘ by Eleanor Catton recently, I wanted to read something which was the absolute polar opposite of historical fiction and settled on ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers. It tells the story of Mae Holland, a twenty-something graduate who starts a new job at The Circle – a social media conglomerate the size and power of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and every other major tech company combined. Although Mae is impressed by what she finds there, the wider implications of how the company is developing soon become apparent.

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The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

The Orphan Master's SonWinner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, ‘The Orphan Master’s Son’ by Adam Johnson tells the story of Pak Jun Do’s journey from life in a North Korean state orphanage to professional kidnapper to a career in Pyongyang at the heart of Kim Jong-il’s regime.  It is an intriguing and sprawling story which explores several aspects of life in one of the most secretive countries in the world. Continue reading

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