Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Far North

I just read Far North by Marcel Theroux. It's one of the growing genre of near-future stories about the collapse of human civilisation, of which the greatest is The Road. Far North is written in that straightforward easy style, and slight delicacy about sex and violence, used for young adult fiction (not that it's marketed as such). It's plain and humanistic. I sped through it in a day or so.

The story is set in Siberia. With accelerating global warming, it has become marginally more habitable and a bunch of Americans (mostly Quakers) looking for the simple life, leased a tract of land from the Russian government, and built some small towns while things were still looking hopeful. The point of view character, Makepeace, is a child of those settlers, now grown up, and trying to survive in a world where civilisation has suddenly gone.

Makepeace is female, though that's not revealed immediately. I think the male writer portrays the sense of being female in a sensible believable way. Coincidentally, like the female lead of Jacob De Zoet (which I am also reading) she has a burned face. She is living in isolation in the deserted town, and eventually she decides to go on the road, looking for civilisation. She runs across a couple of grim settlements, though not as grim as The Road, and becomes adept at survival. I think this is the key sentence:
Makepeace was just another mask that life wore as it fought to renew itself, unsentimental, unsparing, fighting ugly.

  • Phew what a scorcher

    I see Gove has backed down on climate change and it's back in the curriculum again.

  • GCSE Computer Science

    My book is now for sale

  • LJ Settings

    At the moment I have set up this journal so that only friends can comment. I hate doing this, but I was just getting too much Russian spam.

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