This is a big book, physically and content-wise: it’s not often I read a book and come away with a list of things I want to look up and find out more about, but this book did that for me. It’s moving and painful and hopeful and inspiring, and I found it utterly absorbing.
What’s it about? It’s about everything, but primarily global warming. The horrors we are unleashing are laid out clearly. This is a call to stop and think and change. Kim Stanley Robinson places global warming firmly in the context of our neoliberal lifestyle and expectations – continuous growth – as if cancer is the paradigm for our society. He pulls in everything – the lack of parity between developed and developing nations, potential technological solutions, the need to sort out global finances and the super-rich if we are going to get any change on this. He segues smoothly between the near past and the future, carrying you along, making this feel almost like reportage, rather than fiction. There are many voices here, all with their own stories.
The main characters are Frank, a young relief worker, and Mary, the “Minister for the Future”. Their paths intersect in an unexpected way in Zurich, but their stories weave around each other, they don’t really merge.
This is not an action-packed thriller. It’s thoughtful and densely packed. It’s one of those books I want to badger people to read.
Thank you, NetGalley, for letting me read this one.