01 March 2010

Book of the Week (50): "Blackout" by Sam Mills

How much harm can a book do? That’s the central question running throughout Sam Mills' new novel, Blackout. It’s a question still playing on my mind.

When Stefan’s father hides the writer of a banned book in their house Stefan finds himself torn between loyalty to his father and to the state. Could it be that his father really is a terrorist or has state authoritarianism just gone too far? Whose side does Stefan want to be on?

An action packed, thought provoking variation on a dystopian idea, with references to many loved classics such as 1984 and Catcher in the Rye as the dangerous books banned in society for fear of triggering teenage terrorist attacks. Such books are rewritten by the state, removing all hint of violence or lust – Lord of the Flies becomes a tale of boys quibbling over sweets! If you haven’t read these books already, you’ll find yourself seeking them out urgently, before it’s too late, before they’re re-written. If you’ve read them before, you’ll want to re-read them just to check they’re as they should be, or perhaps just for the thrill of reading a dangerous book.

A must-read for anyone with a burning desire to read to explore the complexities of life through literature and for those who like to ‘escape’ into a book. It inspires a simultaneous desperation to read everything ever written, while fearing the power of the words contained within those books and reminding you of the uncertain truth of fiction. It felt dangerous to read.

Recommended by Tessa Brechin

  • For another dystopian novel focusing on the impact of censorship on literature try Ray Bradbury’s Farenheight 451.
  • Or maybe you’d like to risk reading some of the novels mentioned within the text – 1984, Catcher in the Rye, or Lord of the Flies.

1 comment:

Noga said...

You can also check out Rodman Philbrick's The Last Book in the Universe, and Nicola Morgan's Sleepwalking.