A new translation of a prescient dystopian book – over @ShinyNewBooks #kallocain @classicpenguins @DavidWMcDuff


I have a new review up at Shiny New Books today which I wanted to share with you; and it’s of a fascinating, scary and prescient book which could perhaps be described as the missing link between “Brave New World” and “Nineteen Eighty Four”!

That’s a little flippant perhaps; but the book in question *does* fall chronologically between the two and creates a terrifying world of the future where individuality and human emotion has been stamped out, to be replaced with a tightly controlled World State.

The book is “Kallocain” by Karin Boye, here in a lovely Penguin Classics edition, rendered into a wonderful new English version by veteran translator David McDuff. It’s a fascinating read, and you can find my full review here at Shiny!

A complex study of the morality of survival @ShinyNewBooks @classicpenguins


Penguin Classics has lately taken to issuing some wonderful new translations in very pretty editions; slightly taller than normal paperback format, with coloured card covers and French flaps, they *look* nice and *sound* absolutely fascinating! So I was very happy to have the opportunity to review one of them for Shiny New Books: “The Memoir of an Anti-Hero” by Kornel Filipowicz.

Highly regarded in his native Poland, Filipowicz has never been translated into English before – which is pretty shocking, particularly on the evidence of this novella. It’s a fascinating, thought-provoking and in places chilling piece of work which considers the nature of survival under occupation, and how humans can and should behave when faced with oppression. There are certainly no easy answers, but the books exposes much hypocrisy and leaves the reader unsettled and uncertain (well, this one was, anyway!). You can read my review here – and hey! this counts as a Novella in November, so I’ve managed to take part in one of this month’s challenges anyway! 😀

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