Reviews by Evelyn C. Leeper

Reviews by Evelyn C. Leeper

All reviews copyright 1984-2013 Evelyn C. Leeper.

BURY MY HEART AT W. H. SMITH'S by Brian Aldiss:

[From "This Week's Reading", MT VOID, 07/25/2003]

Brian Aldiss has written a couple of autobiographies. One was BURY MY HEART AT W. H. SMITH'S. Another, dealing more (from what I know of BURY) with his earlier years, was THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE. I found the latter in a used bookstore and tried it, but it somehow failed to grab me the way other literary autobiographies have. (It's possible a greater familiarity with all of Aldiss's work might have made a difference.)

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GREYBEARD by Brian Aldiss:

[From "This Week's Reading", MT VOID, 02/02/2007]

Spurred by comments from various readers about books similar to CHILDREN OF MEN, I read a novel that has been compared to CHILDREN OF MEN, GREYBEARD by Brian Aldiss (ISBN-10 0-755-10063-8, ISBN-13 978-0--75510063-7). The reason for sterility here is a series of atomic tests in the atmosphere that interfere with Earth's shielding from damaging solar radiation. (At least here it seems to be an equal opportunity disaster--in both D. F. Jones's IMPLOSION and the film CHILDREN OF MEN, it appears to be only the women who are affected. I am told that in P. D. James's original novel CHILDREN OF MEN it is the men that are sterile.) This is even more "English" than D. F. Jones's IMPLOSION, with characters fairly stoically slogging along in a world without any children for decades. The story gradually unfolds (backwards, with flashbacks to more recent events first and the explanation of what originally happened last), and Aldiss manages to include all sorts of settings: England, United States, market town, college town, rural village, etc. The ending, which seems a bit unlikely, is the novel's only weak point.

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