Paradox

The reading continues. The shelves are flooding and I have made a vow to buy no books before the England trip, I will use this trip to search out some J.G.Ballard though as his books are difficult to find in the USA even with my willingness to buy online now for those difficult to find books.

A major part of my shelves seem to be groaning under John Brunner’s books, “Stand On Zanzibar”, “The Crucible of Time”, “The Sheep Look Up” and many others all stare at me begging to be read so going against the grain I chose “The Children of Thunder.” There was no reason apart from it was not one of the classics of his so it may be good to begin with something a little more unknown. It is not a bad book by any means. It has a good premise for a story, set in the eighties at the onset of the awareness of AIDS and the paranoia that accompanied that disease. Along with the very right of center emphasis of the political landscape it is set in, racism, paranoia, fear, poverty and wealth, all were part of the eighties I remember growing with.

The book however is a series of connected vignettes that do make a cohesive story, but the sum is definitely not better than the parts. Brunner is  a skilled writer but the obvious nature of the ending with all the children being the off-spring of one man was a  disappointment as I was hoping for something more sinister, involving pollution, government experiments etc. All these elements are in the story but just left hanging.

Also my biggest question about the story is why did the children all end up using their powers for selfish gain, not one child could see outside itself. The reason given in the book is lack of parental involvement from birth parents as the majority of the children were products of artificial insemination.

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