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The Ice People Paperback – May 1, 2008
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There are rather painful intrusions: clothing and styles, in the female way, and the effects of twenty years or so of the story on women characters, are detailed. Oh, for a new Churchill. Propaganda films of 'African history'. Airports are heard to have collapsed, though for most of the novel air travel is unaffected. International phone calls are unaffected. The medicos (pregnancy problems...) all have foreign names, such as Zeuss. 'LibLab' join the Conservatives—in a time of chaos, Gee thinks elections will continue. More or less irrelevant robots are invented: I wonder if Gee works in advertising?Read more ›
Here's my problem. We know what's going to happen because it opens with our narrator Saul, alone in his dystopian future - except for the the menacing boy savages - musing on how he got there. As he begins to tell the tale of his once happy family, Gee's job is to keep us interested in why it all fell apart. This requires us to feel sympathy for our narrator. Poor Saul, how could this have happened to you? I'm all ears. It's also helpful if we care about the society which has now been decimated.
Gee paints a picture of a society teetering on the precipice of climate disaster, but still not able to rally around the issue. I liked that instead of preparing themselves, politicians are preoccupied with a whole host of things that feel more controllable; fertility rates, the segregation of gender, political activism, robot malfunction crises. The proverbial deck chairs on the Titanic, but nevertheless a believable multiplicity of issues that human nature wouldn't allow us to ignore.
My problem was that Gee tried to give all these issues weight in the novel, but none was fully realised. I would have preferred if Gee had just picked one train of thought and fleshed it out a bit so we could have sympathized with what was going on. The Wicca (Sarah) were painted as crazy people, the men (Saul) were were pathetic and whiny, the Doves were a distraction. The whole lot of them were annoying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Living in the managed autocracy of 1984 would be ingorant bliss, compared to living through the process of decivilisation depicted in The Ice People. Read morePublished on December 27, 2008 by StillLearning
Martin Amis once said that Maggie Gee was the only female author of his generation that he would bother to read. Read morePublished on January 13, 2003 by m_noland