This Other Eden – a cautionary tale…

This is an ancient book from 1993 and for that I apologise. I’m sure plenty has been said about it already but still, I had the misfortune to read it, so I’m going to write about it. I came across it in a hotel bookshop in Morocco when I had already devoured The White Tiger and the excellent The Looming Tower. I thought I’d like it because I’d once read Ben Elton’s Blind Faith and I found that really engaging.

To be blunt though, I was bitterly disappointed. The whole book was plagued with cheap and lazy prose, the characters were weak and two-dimensional and Ben Elton has squandered what is essentially a great idea for a novel. The end of the world, brought about by human excess, is nigh and the rich are set to retreat into their ‘claustrospheres’ (high tech bunkers set to survive ‘planet death’.) The premise, as far as I’m concerned, is pretty good, but the execution is dreadful.

The worst thing about this book is that Elton’s bitterness oozes out of it at every pore. It’s a vehicle for his diatribes against Hollywood, it’s an opportunity to whine about the treatment of writers. His voice is that of a spoilt, petulant child throwing a hissy fit and I could hardly believe that this man wrote Blackadder!

I recommend then that you steer well clear of this book. Even if you like Ben Elton. Even if you’re desperate for something to read by the pool. Buy Le Monde and plough through that instead, even if you don’t read French. This Other Eden does make you question the world we live in… but for all the wrong reasons.

Buy this book

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under fiction

2 responses to “This Other Eden – a cautionary tale…

  1. G.P

    Great review. Having had the misfortune to read This Other Eden myself I whole-heartedly agree with you.

    As Blackadder himself might say “couldn’t be any less enjoyable if it squirted sulphuric acid into your face”

  2. Pingback: Backstory – not even mild peril | The Literary Kitty

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s