Thursday, 25 April 2013

Book: Reform by Thomas Murphy

I would definitely describe this as more of a novella than a book, I downloaded it for free from Amazon and read it within a couple of hours.

One thing that I just couldn't work out about this book was what time it was set in, the political parties were the same as they are nowadays, and there was mention of some famous British leaders (as well as people such as Karl Marx, though no surnames were ever given and it was simply my prior knowledge of Marxism that led me to believe that that was a reference to Karl Marx).

The story seemed very basic, there are very few named characters, and only two in the present day (discluding the Labour party leader, Alice, at the end, from who's point of view the last few pages are told). This allows Murphy to further explore Lily and her feelings, the whole novella really does seem like an explanation of why Lily did what she did. Ultimately she seemed to be entirely selfless, which made her lack a small amount of credibility. Though at the beginning I sensed that there was a lot of resentment from Lily towards the State, for what they put people through I presume.

In a similar way to 2022, which I wrote about earlier, this book is chilling in the way that it is about England and how everything changes for the worse, in this case through the eradication of the welfare state, that are brought on by recent politics. Though it is slightly more generic than 2022, it is only mentioned close to the end that the novella is set in Liverpool. I think that it is good and refreshing to read dystopias set in smaller cities (and even smaller countries) rather than just in London for British dystopias, and America.

For a quick read I would recommend this book, though there is nothing exceptionally astounding about it, it is still good enough to read.