Dec. 11th, 2018

jacey: (Default)
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Grigsby's debut novel, 'Smoke Eaters' so grabbed the chance of getting a review ARC of this from Netgalley. It doesn't disappoint, though it's a very different read.

With advancing, apocalyptic climate change the government has solved its overpopulation problem by sending unwanted boys to fight in some (probably deliberately orchestrated) war and the girls are shipped into space, to Oublliette. The clue is in the name. Once there they are forgotten. Oubliette is technologically advanced, and potentially a safe haven that some of the politicians back home fancy might be worth taking back from the shippees, but on Oubliette gang violence is the norm. Food is scarce (sent from Earth), and the three main gangs fight for it – though one gang has taken to cannibalism rather than rely on the tasteless 'manna'. Sarah Pao is a new shippee who falls in with Lena 'Horror' Horowitz's gang who call themselves Daughters of Forgotten Light. It's a time when an uneasy truce has been negotiated between gangs, but that's about to crack because along with the girls on the last shipment, there's a baby, something never seen in Oubliette and each gang wants the baby for its own. In the meantime, in parallel with the happenings on Oubliette, Senator Linda Dolfuse (who has recently given up her own baby for adoption) is on earth, trying to discover the truth about what really happens on Oubliette.

This isn't a book for the squeamish. It stares violence unflinchingly in the face. The women and girls (some as young as ten) of Oubliette are a product of the system and they do what they must to survive. It isn't always a comfortable book, but it's gripping. There are one or two things that suffer from a little technical handwaving, in particular how one of the Daughters is able to fly a spaceship, but that's a minor gripe. The ending is bloody, but satisfying.
jacey: (Default)
I haven't included Event Cinema in my Movies of the Week posts, but I've seen quite a few theatre productions broadcast to cinemas. All have been well worth seeing. I can't offer reviews because a) I'm not a theatre critic and b) I'm never sure how much the cinema interface changes perceptions of the stage show. Some have been broadcast 'live;' and some have been recorded as live.

 Here's my list for the last couple of years (in the order I saw them).
  • Frankenstein
  • Rozencrantz and Guldernstern are Dead
  • Treasure Island
  • An American in Paris
  • The Madness of George III
  • The King and I
There wasn't one dud amongst them. Special mentions for Benedict Cumberbatch as the monster in Frankenstein, Mark Gatiss as mad King George, and Ken Watanabe as the King of Siam in the King and I. But to ne honest all the productions were brilliant. I used to love going to the theatre, but I rarely get the chance these days, for both logistical and financial reasons. We went to see War Horse at Salford when it was on tour and we had no change from £120 for two of us. That includes the cost of tickets, parking, and fuel. (But not counting the meal at Cafe Rouge beforhand.)

Event cinema, in contrast, costs about £15 per ticket. Sure itr's more expensive than seeing a movie, but it's a great experience. Highly recommended.

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