Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Pesthouse (BATS May)

This was the first of our new sequence of book group choices made (and bought) by the members. Sylvia chose Jim Crace's The Pesthouse - a powerful novel of the aftermath of an apocalypse. According to an interview with Crace in Writing Magazine (pdf's on his website), it was inspired both by the Scilly Isles where there is a pesthouse and his love/hate relationship with America:
‘I have always loved beingin America; I have always loved its generosity and hospitality. But in the last ten years I have found that my hatred was stronger than my love for it. I wanted to address that. So, take the issue of a destroyed community, place it in America and give it a medieval future. All of those issues are in the book.’

Wonderfully written, imaginative though I'm not sure I was always convinced by the narrative - but maybe I was shutting out the fantasy?
A Guardian review is here and here is a rather more positive one from the Spectator.

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