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Showing posts from July, 2011

MAN BOOKER PRIZE LONGLIST - The Testament of Jessie Lamb - Congratulations Jane Rogers

I first posted this review back in May for those experiencing deja vu. Jane Rogers is a tremendous novelist, never afraid to confront issues. She's also an inspirational teacher.
In Jessie Lamb’s world there are no Thought Police or Republic of Gilead.Her comfortable suburb of Manchester is entirely recognisable. Jane Rogers' eighth novel makes a point of co-opting the ordinary, the everyday world of scrambled eggs, mum and dad’s arguments, college relationships and teenage loyalties. However, in Jessie’s world – a few months into the future – women have been infected by a virus known as maternal death syndrome (MDS). Once MDS is contracted, any woman who becomes pregnant develops a fatal form of CJD, dying within days. The human race must confront its demise. The novel has echoes of The Handmaid’s Tale and Children Of Men, but it is the 360-degree realisation of 21st century community in the process of fracture, told in the voice of an assured, intelligent 16 year old that make…


July, 1966
After the first hour in the interview room at Princes Road, D.I. Moody’s intensity fell away. Maybe it was a sign of resignation, Michael couldn’t tell. All he knew was his fingernails had stopped digging in his palms. Moody looked at his watch and yawned. He lit another Regal and gave a half smile. “You ever run into Cliff Brumby?” The room had become a sweatbox; Michael loosened his tie. He would have spun Moody a line to buy a lungful of clean air, but he had nothing left to say they hadn’t already chewed up and spat out. “Councillor Brumby? Just another face in a cheap suit to me.” “That all?” “Every man and his dog knows I work for Duke. Oil and water, right?” “Yeah, well you don’t work for him anymore, no-one does.” Moody flipped his notebook open and gave it the full Jackanory, how Johnny ‘Duke’ Wayne had made a name for himself after the war with dead men’s ration books and knock-off booze. How in the late fifties, he enforced protection on the arcades in Cleethorpes, ex…