“Fugue for a Darkening Island”, by Christopher Priest

Novel, 1972

A hugely problematic book, where a story of survival and the destruction of the narrator’s family and way of life is set against a backdrop of racial unrest. This is a post-apocalyptic world in which cosy communities just don’t exist like they do in similar novels, and where Africans solely exist in barbaric, largely de-humanised militias, with a back story very quickly dropped and forgotten. Easy, on the one hand, to call this book as reflecting its times, though there’s nowhere near enough subtlety to bring this book forward and update to make it palatable for a contemporary readership.

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