|Digital List Price:||$0.99|
|Print List Price:||$11.99|
Save $11.99 (100%)
L-2011 (Future of London Book 1) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top Customer Reviews
I’ll admit I wasn’t familiar with the real life events and the 2011 protests before opening that book. However, the author has done a great job at leading the reader into the story and depicting the different sides of the protests. It was easy to understand even without having followed the dramatic events of 2011. Half of the novel is written in a docu-fiction style in the form of television report transcripts, YouTube videos, social media tweets and blog posts. The other part revolves around a group of teenagers, their reaction, and involvement in the riots and looting. We meet white and Scottish upper-middle-class Mack Walker, a newcomer in London whose past is catching up with him and the new gang of friends he’s been trying to impress. At first, they see the riot as an excitement, something that breaks their normal and grey routine. Over the course of the plot, we see the entire situation through their eyes, from the "shopping" to the YouTube videos and secret Blackberry messages to the blood chilling violence and destruction.
It is the 21st century so the fight, violence, looting and riots are no longer preserved for the streets. Social media is both a weapon of war and the only platform where social injustice can be discussed. The stakes get higher when Chester George, the anonymous speaker for the masses, the punk rock force of nature behind the Good and Honest Citizens moves the crowds of protesters with just a few short YouTube clips and a powerful calling. The reality star and blogger Sadie Hobbs pours oil on troubled waters, convinced that the “feral rats” must be exterminated, that the violence should be met with more violence by those she refers to as the “normal people”. It is a matter of days and hours when the inevitable clash will happen, the fear burns faster even than the London buildings. The characters deal with their own demons, the limits of acceptable are pushed and it all leads to an explosive and completely unexpected finale.
I loved the straightforward style of the novel, the small details that get us into the story. The writing flows easily and Mark Gillespie develops characters with a strong presence, realistic, flawed, often insecure beneath their bravado. The story is not for the faint of heart and neither for those with delicate sensibilities. Plenty of horrible, hard to deal with scenes take place between the first act and the thrilling culmination. However, I’m grateful for that. Anything less would be too condescending to the reader. To spare them from the brutal realism of the situation would kill the plot or make it less effective. At the same time, I didn’t feel like I was reading a book filled with disturbing violence for the sake of the shock value. As a matter of fact, some of the scariest parts were what we were never shown. Gillespie gives us enough visual clues and our imagination does the trick. That works very strong in one scene that doesn’t last a long time and we don’t get to see anything too graphic. Yet that moment haunts Mack until the end, feeding his sense of powerlessness and bringing him back to the events from his past he can never escape from.
Perhaps the most frightening are how easy such a situation could happen in real life, especially with the current political and social climate. Maybe it wouldn’t be in such a short term or with more resistance from the authorities but it is as close to reality as it gets. In any case, it’s a really thought-provoking piece of fiction with a strong side of realism. As another reviewer pointed out, it was a coming of age tale and also an objective social study.
I enjoyed L-2011 a lot and would recommend it to anyone who likes smart contemporary and well-thought story with a gripping plot, strong conflicts, and characters. I look forward to reading its sequel, Mr. Apocalypse and get to know more of that author’s other work.
Five Futuristic Stars.
We see the aftermath through the eyes of Mack Walker, a teenager with a secret in his past. He befriends several local London kids, whose backgrounds are not so fortunate as Mack’s white, upper middle-class upbringing. They all have their own issues to deal with, and there is a nice interplay between characters that matches what you’d read from a NY Times Bestseller. However, my one big criticism of the book was that the characters don’t have traditional arcs. They all have strong personalities that are reinforced as the story progresses, but they don’t undergo any transformative process. And maybe that is the point. These kids are all reflective of a growing generation plugged into social media—they see the world like no generation has before, but there’s a powerlessness there as they see the corruption and media sensationalism, but are unable to affect change except through violence.
Therefore, it makes sense that the chaos from the riots also spills over into social media, as Twitter, Facebook, and Messenger, vlogs and blogs, become a battleground in which virtual celebrities are created—each with their own opposing agenda. I thought this was an interesting twist that would most likely happen, as we see how social media platforms have given voice to social injustice, and have been used effectively to organize individuals in the wake of devastation. The transition to normal narrative to social media posts can be a bit jarring at first, but I feel it serves the message of the story.
What’s lost during the events of these riots and the social media sensationalism, is the reason the riots began in the first place—the unjust death of a black youth by police actions. And because that’s exactly what would—excuse me—has happened in real life, makes Mark’s book a scary, thought-provoking work of alternate history that might one day happen in our world. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5
Mark Gillespie takes the reader to London in this story that could not be more relevant in today's tense world. I live in America, and have never been lucky enough to travel abroad, but the descriptions made it easy for me to envision the sights and places in the story. Tge events happen in a way that couls plausibly happen with social media and around the clock news. It was easy to connect with the story because the author sets the stage so well, such as twitter feeds and news stories. The ending of this book really has you at the edge of your seat. I can't wait to read more of Mr. Gillespie's work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mark Gillespie's book is set in London, just before the London Olympics, in an alternative narrative of...Read more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Alternate History
- Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Alternative History
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Dystopian
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic