Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
|Print List Price:||£6.99|
Save £4.99 (71%)
In A Right State Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
His story is set in a realistic and very possible sounding future in which businesses run the economy, based solely on statistical data obtained from an almost infinite number of electronic sources, where waste is reduced almost to the point of non-existence. As a result profit is optimised and people are constantly being bombarded with invasive information as corporations attempt to maximise their sales.
Right from the start this book has the reader hooked as we jump straight in to the unexpectedly weird auction scene and despite the important theme of an apparent lack of respect for privacy, the story finds plenty of opportunities to have fun and be light-hearted enough not to take itself too seriously.
I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys futuristic dystopian style stories and I look forward to reading more from Ben Ellis in the future.
It is well written and does what it should, draw you in from the beginning. It doesn't take long to see where the plots heading, and it’s a journey you willingly take, because questions have to be answered!
"In A Right State" is a peculiar book, far from easy to review. In a nutshell, it's a dystopian twist on a future Great Britain, one where corporations rule the country and everything is focused on business and profit. The story opens, quite intriguingly, on one of the main characters, Duncan, as he follows with some trepidation the auction of his deceased wife's body parts: in a time when the wasteful past (our present) has been replaced by a heightened consciousness of our resources, CO2 emissions have been eliminated and solar power rules, the environmental cost of a burial or a cremation is unthinkable, hence the auctioning off of a body for research purposes. Waste not, want not.
The problem is, Duncan has a little secret that close examination of his wife's body will reveal: he grows real, organic vegetables in a plot under his home - and that makes him an outlaw, because only OGM food is the accepted norm, or rather the law. So he destroys the underground garden and runs away with a few bags of precious seeds, with the corporate police hot on his heels.
Amy, on the other hand, is the dutiful employee of a major corporation - she might not be happy about her non-existent career prospects, but she keeps being the good drone she's been taught to be, until the day her innocent workplace association with deceased Nicole - Duncan's wife - puts her under suspicion, and she decides to burn all bridges behind her, taking Duncan along in a mad flight that will put them in contact with the mysterious Colonel, a man who seems hell-bent on undermining the system. A sort of Renaissance man in a culture that has forgotten literature, music, stage plays and movies, because the only "creative" writing is whatever goes into product promotion. But maybe even the Colonel not as good, or as selfless as he seems...
Intriguing? Yes. The premise, starting with that weird, so very weird scene about the auction, is a sound one and some details are even chillingly realistic: take for example the constant commercial ads (the only form of entertainment in this future society), the violation of privacy that allows those ads to be played at any time in your house or while you're taking a walk, whether you want it or not - these phenomena are something that we can observe right now, although on a far smaller scale. Have you ever been tormented by constant calls from phone companies offering you great opportunities for voice and internet access, or pestered by sellers of other products? So you know what I mean...
Yet this very interesting premise at some point became lost, for me, in the uncertain mood of the story, that alternates between seriousness and tongue-in-cheek fun, in a sort of Hellzapoppin-like sequence of sketches that made me often wonder if there was a definite sense of direction. There are also long stretches of exposition (the chapter where the Colonel is introduced is one of the clearest examples), and more often than not we are told about the characters' feelings and reactions, but almost never shown. I've often wondered if this story wanted to be a sarcastic cautionary tale about the dangers in the path our society is taking, or if we were meant to be worried and take it as a dire warning. The first few chapters of the book also suffer from some instances of mixed tenses, adding to the general bafflement I mentioned above and that is compounded by narrative contradictions that quite bothered me: for example, if there is such a constant control on citizen activity (satellites, DNA scans and other means that would make the NSA guys envious), how could Duncan build the complicated underground garden and its equally complicated camouflage mechanism?
Despite the danger, despite the number of people pursuing our "heroes" with a vast array of technological gadgets, they rarely seem to take their plight seriously, finding the time for some well-delivered prank and witty repartee. This would seem to point toward a lighter-toned narrative, but the bloody horror and anguish of the end of the book turn this notion on its head, only to offer again a brief glimmer of sincere hope with the last sentence...
I'm confused. Or probably unable to see the point because of some inherent lack of perspective.
Not a bad book in itself, on the contrary it was a quick, interesting read, but despite that I could not... pin it down, for want of a better word.
All in all, it was an enjoyable read and a great effort for a first novel.
I thought the characters were cool, i felt myself become quite attached to the females in the story, a certain 'splash around in a fountain' was fun. I recommend people to read this, its a good short book which gets you thinking about the way our culture is surely heading, delving into mr Ellis mind for a while is a little scary... but worth it.
p.s i love the cover..... read the book and look at it again!!!. Well done Ben
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?