Most Helpful First | Newest First
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ambiguities and conumdrums,
This review is from: Going with Gabriel (Paperback)Remember how Tarantino's "From Dusk Till Dawn" turned from a baddie film into a vampire movie?
Well, this book switches from a thrilling page-turner into a vision. The vision of Farland, but a vision of heaven or hell? Farland is a fusion of the Nazis' Lebensborn project and a kibbutz. A mixture of an Amish community and the village in the cult TV series The Prisoner. In which the main character stops struggling and becomes a willing participant a la Winston Smith who came to love Big Brother.
Gabriel is certainly the hero in literary terms - the book revolves around him. But in moral terms, hero or anti-hero? His humanity, other-wordliness and musicianship certainly lend him endearing qualities. But at the same time Doctor Gabriel is an escapee from a scientific plot to gradually sterilise the human world willy-nilly (pun intended). To insist as he does "Just never forget, our intention was good. We all believed it to be right" is just not good enough and evokes shades of the justifications for the invasion of Iraq.
The book provokes debate as to the necessity to limit human numbers, but the debate is of itself anthropocentric. It begs the question of whether the fate of the Third Chimpanzee matters a rat's arse. Lovelock might argue that the planet will shrug off 6 million years of bipedals and 10 000 years of homo sapiens sapiens as a poor joke, not "the measure of all things".
Entertaining and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars Go with Gabriel,
This review is from: Going with Gabriel (Paperback)Won this in a GR giveaway and was very glad I did. It follows the story of Gabriel, a wandering musician, and his friend Sonny who travel across Britain and Ireland playing to small crowds in pubs, bus stations and wherever else the mood takes, until a record producer records them, and sets them on the road to fame. In the meantime Gabriel's past as a genetic scientist begins to catch up with him as BIO Corp takes an interest in his work with PXP, a genetically modified virus that results in permanent infertility in humans. This leads him and his friends on a path through intrigue, conspiracy and moral dilemma as he tries to keep out of the limelight, get rid of his past and those interested in it and settle into a more normal life.
The contrast between Gabriel the music man and Gabriel the scientist is interesting and at times they seem like two completely different men. The competing desires of these two sides of Gabriel's character reflect on the competing desires of every person on Earth and of humanity as a whole. This book raises many issues about mankind and how it lives and uses the Earth's limited resources and how this should be addressed. Although the solution proposed is one of the more extreme options, it is one that may well be necessary in the future, especially if the future is similar to the one in the latter half of the book.
My only slight problem with this is the concept of Farland itself. I felt it was a little too unrealistic being so cut off from the Outside world and think it is a little unlikely that so many Farlands could be kept secret from the world for so long, especially as some were located in fairly well populated areas. The Dorset Farland is a good example of this as it is located on an ex-military range, likely to be one of two I know of in the county, both of which the public use frequently for walking, rambling etc. But this is being a bit fussy and I would imagine that trying to create a realistic Farland would be very difficult and Islip has tried to keep it as real as possible, accepting that there would be conflicts and differences of opinion even within these communities.
Overall a very good book, one that you can read and enjoy but that also makes you think, not only about your own actions but those of humanity as a whole.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Going with Gabriel'... what would you choose?,
This review is from: Going with Gabriel (Paperback)There are no stereotype "good guys" and "bad guys" in this story, no clear black and white, only our flawed humanity mirrored in an equally complex lead character - Gabriel the wandering musician. Gabriel's survival may lie in staying invisible, but his magical musical talent makes that near impossible. As he weaves the people he meets into his songs, he tries to keep them from being woven into his heart, but is that possible? Gabriel seems to be hiding from his past, but is he actually trying to run away from his future... How long before the secrets he is running from finally catch up with him? Where is Gabriel really going and does he have any choice?
Gabriel's secret fears are not the stuff of fantasy, they are based on genuine concerns facing this planet as we sit here reading. That's what makes this book more than merely an enjoyable adventure story - the research that Bryan Islip has used to place his fiction upon a foundation of fact. Whether you agree with Gabriel's choices or are appalled by his decisions this book is bound to change the way you look at the world... and that, in my opinion, is the sign of a really good story.
Thought-provoking and provocative in its theme and theories, 'Going with Gabriel' is definitely worth reading.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gabriel - the messenger of good news?,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Going with Gabriel (Kindle Edition)I first came across this book when I met the author at a Highland Games event and downloaded it that day! I found the subject matter quite un-nerving, based as it is on a considerable amount of fact; we do live in an over-populated world which we are in the process of destroying. The main character, Gabriel, is a complex mix of artist and scientist. Having initiated an unstoppable programme of infertility upon mankind he drops out to travel the road with his friend Sonny, making music.
This is a well written book and I appreciated Bryan Islip's descriptive ability which had me totally involved with Gabriel's dilemma, with his desire for anonymity and his ultimate loss of control over his own life, deprived of the woman he loves and his friends. The characters are well drawn and the third person, present tense narration increased the pace of the story and developed the tension.
Farlands, a suggested resolution for an over-populated world going to the dogs, sent chills down my spine. A life for the chosen few - hard luck on the rest!
A thought provoking read which I absolutely recommend.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Going with Gabriel by Bryan Henry Islip (Paperback - 11 Feb 2010)
Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 weeks