Copyright 1998 by
I first read this on the 4th December 2002.
The world has been heading straight for an ecological disaster and by 2032, it is in
the thick of it. With the climatic collapse, there's a matching collapse
in government and society.
We find our geriatric protagonists, Moira, Rhiannon, Loki, George et al, struggling
to survive in their secured enclave, with their diminishing retirement resources,
as society degrades around them.
They like most others have been able to see the inevitable disaster creeping up on
them, but like almost everybody else, felt that they could do nothing to prevent it.
Now they are in the midst of it, and there's no hope for any of them, no real
expectation of even living out their last few years, albeit in increasing discomfort.
But then Rhiannon stumbles across a global conspiracy, codenamed 'The Green Man',
that seems, if it can be taken seriously, to have plans to save the world.
I enjoyed this. It was interesting, thought-provoking and at times exciting.
Clee's argument about exponential growth leaving one insufficient time to react
struck home with me and I very nearly refused a plastic bag at the
supermarket, although in the end I accepted it as I needed something to carry the
frozen food and champers to the taxi.
I liked the characters and how they developed (or
as often died, bearing in mind their age). I liked the age of the characters and that
I frequently forgot their ages. I don't know if this novel accurately depicts how the
aged think and act, but it's not impossible. There's an eighty-three-year-old in my
apartment building who's so full of energy that he bounces around like a ping-pong ball
in a Bingo blower. His older mate, a more mature and settled eighty-six, still teaches
some variant of Tai Chi Chuan to his class.
Even though one knows from early in the novel that things will turn out alright in
the end one's still gripped by the plot. In fact one is rather taken by surprise
as various ancient actors doff their mortal coils.
So all in all it's a pretty good read but, and this is an annoying but, for all of the
clearly-apparent effort put into this book, you get the feeling that now and again
Ms Clee skipped on her research. Events are mentioned without dates or papers
without authors perhaps because she didn't know the relevant data. Now that's
OK, there are several things that I don't know, off the top of my head, but with
this novel you get the feeling it's because she couldn't be bothered to find out the
information. But this is only a minor and occasional annoyance.
Loaded on the 27th December 2002.