“Exhilarating” Sunday Times
“Riveting” Daily Mail
“A Remarkable Novel” Irish Independent
“Bold and Brilliant” Prospect
“Compelling” Financial Times
I wonder if they read the same book? because my cover review would read
“Tedious patronising drivel” Jeff Short Bookeaters
It seems I’m out of step with the rest of the reviewers so I’d better state my case. The concept of the novel is great. Internet multi-billionaire decides to put something back into society. His idea is to restore abandoned and derelict suburbs of Detroit by buying up hundreds of ruined buildings and handing them over to specially selected “Settlers” who will restore them, set up cottage industries, city farms and small shops etc. A wonderful Idealistic solution to save a dying city.
Unfortunately, it is obvious from the start that the whole project is doomed to fail. The plan is to surround the city centre with leafy garden suburbs, which would be occupied by an intellectual elite. The city centre is currently home to a million of America’s poorest people, the majority of whom are black. The wonderful plan does not include integration with the existing population and creates a black ghetto, housing a resentful underclass.
It is inevitable that at some point there will be a clash between the smug, elite, settlers and the deprived blacks. The trouble is you have to read three hundred pages about these boring, white, pretentious, middle class, smug twats and their boring day to day doings, which unfortunately includes their sex lives, before the spark hits the tinderbox.
Then, on page 301 There is a fight involving a white settler and a black resident. The black guy gets a severe beating. As he is black, he is charged, found guilty and sentenced while the white guy, who handed out the beating, is not charged. This prompts three days of rioting. After which the high minded settlers pack up and go home. (Ooops! forgot to put in the spoiler alert).
Quite frankly I would have dumped this book after fifty pages, but as I was house bound with the flu I decided to battle on as I couldn’t get to the library.
One point in its favour, I can now see why Trump beat Clinton. If you want to know just go on to utube and search “Detroit devastation” There is an eight minute video that shows what has happened to Detroit and explains why it happened. You will be shocked to discover that the devastation of Detroit happened when the town was managed by Democrats.
I am so disappointed, this book could have been so good.
I promise never to read anther book that is described as “finely nuanced” which turns out to be a euphemism for crap.
It’s Nil bites from me.