Weeknotes: Philip Reeve and JB Priestley

I’ve been reading Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engine series, or at least Infernal Devices, and about to start The Darkling Plain. What intrigues me about the series is the changing society. It is not necessarily monolithic mobile cities but the way that the central protagonists grow old. Even the Lost Boys get old. It is as if the instability of post-MEDUSA London has infected the wider world and it is in step with the strange cities of China Mieville. Even so, Reeve writes with a wonderful verve and creates an all-encompassing society.

BBC Radio Four staged an adaptation of JB Priestley‘s An Inspector Calls as part of their Priestley season. It is one of those titles that I have heard bandied around but never got around to reading. The play is a terribly English way of dealing with the changing society with (we assume) a ghost who forces the upper class family to confront their actions which have led to a young woman’s suicide. It is a salutory reminder of the way that the fantastic can force the reader into seeing society more clearly. A writer to follow up on.

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