Thursday, 23 June 2011
When I was at school I used to read a lot of sci-fi, Arthur C. Clarke, Issac Asimov etc. but I haven't really read much in the last 10 years. So when I read the review for the Xbox 360 game metro 2033 I decided that I would have a read of the book which inspired it (I didn't get round to playing the game, maybe something to do with children).
The premise of the book is nothing new, a nuclear apocalypse. Something pretty popular in games like Stalker and in plenty of recent films like the road or the book of Eli. What makes this so much more interesting though is how the suspense slowly builds as more is revealed of the horror which is lurking.
I was fascinated by the perspective that a Russian writer would have on a post apocalyptic world. It is a neat concept to take the Moscow underground and some of the overground as the setting for the story (he knows it well he lives in Moscow), Taking something familiar and then letting it morph as the story progresses.
There are two stand out parts to this book, the first is the commentary on the way people react to high stress and the disintegration of society, people huddle together and people who once were neighbors now form various factions, some are peaceful some aggressive but all are fighting for survival...
The second standout point is to do with the place of humanity, human conduct doesn't really seem to be the peak of the evolutionary chain, in fact his book asks questions of our conduct when resources are much scarce than they are now, maybe not quite so apocalyptic in that sense.
The pace of the book is like a good film and has some great moments of suspense and a great twist.
Have a read