It probably seems strange but I haven’t actually read this book and there’s good reason. For a start we studied it at school and that can be enough to put anyone off, it took me thirty years to get over “Far from the Madding Crowd”. But it’s not just that, we looked at it as part of a contemporary topic. It was 1983 and the topic was Nuclear War.
I remember talking with my friends at around this time and we collectively discovered that none of us expected to live long enough to finish school. This may sound crazy now, but that was what it was like in England in the early eighties. Dramas and books about nuclear war were everywhere, government pamphlets came through the door called things like “Protect and Survive” with ridiculous instructions about how to build a shelter in your house, CND were protesting and I watched the bombers taking off and flying over my house.
In this atmosphere a book that dealt with the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust wasn’t science fiction, just a stark reminder of our likely future. It is, by all accounts, a great book and maybe one day I’ll feel like picking it up. But not yet.