Book Review: Arcadia by Iain Pears (Three Stars)

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Book Review: Arcadia by Iain Pears

Three Stars

“Outrageous coincidence was more normal that carefully formed, reasoned action.”

Excellent world building. Complex time-travel plot with 60s England focus. Having one character a later member of the famous Inklings is a nice touch, including his depreciation of his more talented friends.

“You go and sit down and contemplate your own genius for a bit, and come through when you think you can stand straight.”

The narrative suffers from too many point-of-view characters. The many threads finally come together, but the first hundred pages is heavy going. Extra credit for finishing it all in one go.

“You may have got that from The Wizard of Oz. You steal ideas from everyone.” “I do?” “Yes.” (Pears also borrowed from Fahrenheit 451.)

While the women characters are well differentiated, the men all sound alike. Not sure why one character’s narrative was in first person while the rest were third person.

“You told me you know what you’re doing.” “I may have been a little optimistic.”

For supposedly being uber-intelligent, Angela makes several basis logic errors. Her most egregious is to continue to add actors to the created universe she wants to remain static, if not turn off.

“Children have little sense of time; nor the very old. They live in the ever-present now.”

A concern: Several recent books have featured (approvingly?) older men having sexual relations with younger (14- to 15-year-old) girls. This is not behavior authors should be promoting. It’s a worrisome trend. I deducted a star from the rating.

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