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on 7 January 2010
This is the book which might have been reissued as a Modern Classic in 2009 instead of/ as well as his "Death of Grass." As I write this review when the UK is enduring the snowiest start to a year since perhaps 1963, an exceptionally cold winter at the time of which "World" appeared, the novel will have its ironic relevance at a time (the reverse of that when the book appeared) when warming, rather than cooling, is a concern. The basic motor of the cooling in the novel is solar radiation, still a much debated topic across the quasi-scientific community at least. And yet besides a chilling (sorry) portrayal of an adverse climate, this novel has much to say about the relations between the UK and Africa, the legacy of colonialism and the nature of nationalism. These are the issues, along with a strong dialectical sense of character formation (which "Death" lacks) which make this book a good read, and will make it pertinent long after global warming is back on the agenda and the current snows are those of yesteryear.
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on 5 July 2002
Although we may live in a world of alleged global warming this book was written when it hadn't really been considered. A new ice age brings the ice cap south of London, England. The story is about how people escape to African countries, the way they are treated by their hosts and ultimately an expedition back to discover how things now stand in London. It's interesting to see how the tables are turned on those from the First World when they have escaped to the Third World. It wouldn't be far from reality and not undeserved either. It's another What If? book and again comes out tops. Why is it so many of the books from the seventies never made it to film or even TV series?
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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2010
Very good post-apocalyptic novel about a future where the level of solar radiation declines so it becomes perpetual winter in the northern hemisphere and most of the population flees to the warmer climes of Africa. Africa then becomes politically dominant leading to an ironic post-colonialist situation where white waiters kowtow to black masters in Lagos. Written in 1962 the novel contains some conceptions of racial loyalty that read uncomfortably today and the final section jars slightly because of this. The marital relationships of the leading four characters also remind one of Noel Coward's Private Lives!
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on 26 June 2015
John Christopher was the master of depicting the breakdown of civilization in the face of a global catastrophe, as his masterpiece The Death Of Grass proves. Sadly, The World In Winter is more of a potboiler. The premise that a new ice age has taken hold of the northern hemisphere is plausible enough, but the motivations of the characters are bizarre to say the least. They switch allegiances at the drop of a hat, making them unbelievable in an otherwise highly believable environment. Still, the vivid descriptions of London transformed into an icy wasteland is well worth a read.
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on 28 June 2008
A good end-of-the-world story. It's very dated, both in the scenario and language, but remember, this is from before the worries about global warming and before calling black men Sambo and assuming they were inferior was thought to be perhaps not in the best of tastes. I refuse to judge a book badly simply because of when it was written. But unfortunately, it is let down by an unconvincing ending, in which the main character's motivations and the new life he has created for himself get turned on their head for completely incomprehensible reasons. Still worth reading though if you can find it for a few pennies second-hand.
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on 4 January 2015
Good book. But not great. "The death of grass" and "wrinkle in the skin" were far superior. Read this if you like John Christopher, but read the other two books even if you've never heard of him. They're amazing.
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on 26 August 2014
Interesting story! I do like the way that John Christopher develops a plot. Not as good as the Death of Grass (probably my favourite piece of fiction ever), but a good read. I can see. though, why this one is out of print!
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on 4 November 2013
OK but not at the same standard as death of grass and wrinkle in the skin - these being excellent and would get 4-5 stars
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on 19 July 2015
A little bit dated now but nevertheless this is a good read. Also try Death of Grass by the same author.
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on 13 September 2014
A fab book. My Husband loved reading it.
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