The Miracle Inspector
A darkly comic literary novel set in the near future.
England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theatres and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home.
A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London – with disastrous results.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Dystopia is one of my favourite genres, and this book is a worthy addition to any collection. I found it scarily believeable - the London portrayed in the book is in many ways very familiar, but in other unsettling ways, it is very different. It certainly demonstrates how paranoia and fear of terrorism and paedophilia – and the natural desire to curtail such activities – can lead to a complete loss of freedom. For instance, men are afraid to spend time with any child that isn’t their own, for fear of being suspected of having an ulterior motive.
At one point, Angela finds herself outside London, as a refugee. This was one of my favourite parts of the story; I won’t give anything away, but it certainly made me think about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, and mistrust and dislike that some factions of society feel towards them. While Angela was desperate to escape her oppressive lifestyle, she was lost without the familiarity of it.
The writing was very eloquent and ‘clean’ – and flowed beautifully. There were a few different subplots, which all tied up together nicely. Despite the disturbing subject, there was also plenty of dark humour to be found in the story as well, and the conversations between Lucas and Angela were all too realistic.
Overall, this certainly a book I would recommend, especially to fans of science fiction and dystopia.