- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 52 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 9 May 2017
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B071NFS697
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Resolution Way Audiobook – Unabridged
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The vast bulk of this book is written in a restless present tense, sequentially following some characters. These are mainly middle aged Londoners, generally of the disaffected middle class. It uses an alternate London as the suitably dehumanised setting for a UK spin on William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.
While the first section was brilliant, a lucid dream steadily spinning out of control, some of the following sections while well written were less than thrilling and a tad ‘right on’.
The book is consistently well written, and well observed, but it is long, far far longer than it needs to be.
The main point of interest is the malign spin on modern trends that the book so accurately skewers. This hideously dystopian world is actually very little different from our own, a step to the side and we could be there.
In terms of marking, the first section was utterly brilliant, the middle of the book was perhaps more of a slog, but the end tied things up with real aplomb. While this book is not perhaps the page turning thriller that some reviewers have described, it is an important and thought provoking book that amply rewards.
The thriller tropes are used well and it proceeds at a cracking pace. The characters are well drawn, recognisable and, at a basic level, you root for them. I enjoyed cyber-god Johannes and his Olympian curecting.
It is definitely rich enough to bear re-reading soon. Oh, and it's really well-written and funny. Looking forward to the companion work 'Eminent Domain'.
This is the kind of digital realism we need in our cynical age. The characters are flawed, beaten or negotiating life under austerity and social media as we all are now, but a few fictional years in the future of the (currently) United Kingdom. The description of character and place is deftly handled by Neville as are the larger and darker themes that put this in a tradition, I would argue, of Swift, Huxley, Ballard and more recently, Ben Wheatley. I'm recommending to everyone I know.
One of my favorites is the chain Tastee-Pound: "open till four in the morning, instant decisions on micro loans at an annualised 2,300 % interest rate, a pawnbrokers, a betting shop and fast food joint all-in-one." A "one stop poverty and obesity shop" for the lumpen lost of Zones 2 and 3.
The novel's foreground, though, concerns a different feature of the contemporary scene: the drive to unearth long-lost or never-known music / literature / film etc etc and turn it into cultural capital. Successful but unstable and troubled writer Alex Hargreaves stumbles across the existence of a beyond-obscure writer/ sound-artist called Vernon Crane and becomes obsessed with recovering and consolidating the dead man's scattered work. As the archive-fever possesses him, Hargreaves is pulled insidiously across the line between curation and appropriation, detective work and crime.
Propelled by lean prose that sparingly flashes into a poetic or epiphanic register, Resolution Way merges elements of science fiction, political satire, thriller and ghost story; it is alternately - sometimes simultaneously - unsettling, acerbic, pacy, and eerie. I'd place it in the company of John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, while also suggesting that it outdoes William Gibson's recent run of novels set in the present. But while it's a "novel of ideas", Neville's book does not stint on fleshed-out, empathetic characterisation or beautifully observed description of social scenes - tracking, for instance, the tensions and undercurrents at play during a middle class dinner party with mordant precision.
Written and published shortly before Brexit, Resolution Way has since acquired an extra layer of painfully sharp resonance as we contemplate the grim vista ahead of political paralysis, social and regional division, and economic stagnation. But mainly it's simply a gripping, thought-provoking read.