84K, by Claire North: #BookReview.

480 pages

Political Fiction/Dystopian/Literary Fiction

Not for the faint-hearted. And, definitely not for the perennially depressed. But this is a book that should be read by everyone (I’m conscious of the contradiction). Set in a future UK too close for comfort, it examines the inevitable consequences of unfettered capitalism.

The writing style is clever, sometimes confusing, and always in keeping with the narrative. Broken sentences, incomplete thoughts, ideas born only to trail into uncertainty: all this chimes relentlessly with the psychosis and sheer survival techniques of the people portrayed.

It is not an easy read. It is far from a cheerful read. But it is a necessary read if we are to avoid the very issues this far-seeing author envisages. Money, the modern God, rules supreme. Emotions, justice, fairness, equality, compassion, and all else seen as good by most ordinary people is discarded deliberately by those who worship money and its unnatural ability to rule and control.

The humanity of the protagonists contrasts sharply with the utter greed, self-obsession, harsh cruelty, self-deception, fanaticism and coldness of the antagonists.

This is a book about love, filial and romantic, set in an environment where the word has no meaning for most unless applied to money. It chills to the bone, creates fear for the future, engages with the same terror and anxiety prevalent in the horror genre, but employs the active descriptive techniques of the thriller, without ever diminishing the importance of character.

You cannot fail to be gripped by this story, though some readers may find the fragmentation, which is fundamental to the emotional kick of the work, sometimes frustrating.

Read it. Please, read it. The future it predicts is a wink away as I write this.

I was introduced to this book via a comment from a fellow reader on Twitter.

[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]

3 thoughts on “84K, by Claire North: #BookReview.

    1. Thanks, Tom. A valid question. The same sort of venality that causes the problems in the UK setting exists in most of the civilised world; in fact, more so in many nations. So the basic theme of the story can be transferred to almost anywhere. There are references to certain locations, and some elements of society, that may be unfamiliar to the non-UK reader, but I wouldn’t expect those to prevent understanding of the plot and the ideas presented.


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