Sunday, 10 March 2013

Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence

I read this after reading a thread on Mumsnet about whether or not it would be suitable for a Yr 7 child.  I gathered from the discussion that it's about a nuclear war and its aftermath.  Although I never watch the actual news because I find it too depressing, bizarrely, I completely love books like this.  Not content with depressing myself beyond measure with When the Wind Blows, I downloaded this book, despite the Mumsnet thread containing many spoilers, all of which made me fairly certain that the book would make me cry.  Copiously.

It did, but it was rather brilliant.  It's a bit like Oryx and Crake. But for teens.  And not rubbish.  I didn't like the kind of religious-y wish-washy bit towards the end; that was the only thing about it that made it seem really quite dated (which it has every right to be really, having been written in the mid-80s).  I also was a bit annoyed about the of evolution of man which drives the plot, given that we all know full-well that evolution simply would not happen over only two generations of people.  But, if you put aside the fact that, scientifically, it's impossible, it's a really really gripping read.

It was compared in the thread to Robert Swindell's Brother in the Land, which I know I have read, but can barely remember anything about, aside from the fact that I found it boring.  So if my fading memory is anything to go by, this one is certainly the better of the two.  Highly recommended for teens with a fascination for dystopia.

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