Genesis - Bernard Beckett EDIT: Read again and loved it even more, upping my rating to 4 stars.

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Old Review


Ok, so 3.5 stars actually. Maybe 4 but I've decided to be picky.

I was greatly torn as to my opinion on this book, it's a very confusing and weird read at times and not even remotely what I expected when I read the description.

The novel consists entirely of a 4-hour oral exam on a specialist subject of the individual's choice, set in a society that is built up through the dialogue in the examination as the protagonist narrates the history of it's development. You can tell from the start that Beckett knows a thing or too about both philosophy and science, particularly genetics, and even those who feel their minds automatically shriveling up at the thought of any of those will still find themselves impressed by the originality of this literary idea.

A lot of the time I found myself thinking "Eh?" I had picked the book up expecting to find the story of yet another dystopian society but it was quite unlike anything else I have ever read. Plus, the ending is a shocker, almost laughable in some respects but definitely enough to surprise even the greatest mystery-mind. Trust me, if you see it coming then you're one of those who reads the last few pages first.

The book made me think. A lot. It made me question some of my greatest beliefs regarding life and what it is to be 'human' or 'real'. I do want people to read this book, don't be put off by my 3 star rating. My warped reasoning is that, even though it shocked me and raised some interesting questions, I found the style not quite up to the 'really liked it' marker.