Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reading: A Science Fiction Novel

I thought I would just read the book and not write about it. It's science fiction or at least that was my impression when I started reading it. Rarely I read science fiction. Blame my attitude, I have a habit of frowning on any writing that is not realistic. Cormac McCarthy once said in an interview that anything that does not deal realistically with life or death of human beings is not real writing. More or less, I've got the same view as far as literature is concerned.

But the book was compelling. A mesmerizing writing style and a wonderful display of imagination. It was about some nerds, all employees of a shady corporation, in a planet far far away from our earth - devoting their talent and energy to build a human habitation designed - of course for profit - exclusively for those who have been tired of the world which is now the festering scumhole.

A fresh idea. And there is a vivid portrait of the planet's contours, its climate, and its somewhat strange inhabitants.

The protagonist is a pastor who is apparently brought in to infuse the new habitation with religion (Christianity, of course). Truth to tell, being anti-religion, I didn't initially like the pastor much, but he's an honest, serious guy and has intense feel for the planet's little guys.

But half the narrative is that of our familiar earth where the pastor's wife lives a precarious life, going through violence, lawlessness and a lot of natural calamities. This comes in the form of e-mails written by her. Very realistic, though grim.

The pastor, at one point, gets tired of this new place, and gets crazy to return to the world, to unite with his wife.

What's the point of the book? Could not crack. May be one should not look for any message out of such books.

I didn't like the end of the book, but I must say I enjoyed the book.

The Book: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber.

No comments:

Search This Blog

My Blog List