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Great and thought provoking idea but not quite the real deal
on 22 March 2011
There's no doubt that Alex Scarrow researched the Peak Oil topic at length to the point where he seems to have become an evangelist on the subject.
The threats of the issues Scarrow addresses are well, and poignantly made, which makes you wonder especially with some of the Middle East States in some degree of turmoil.
So full credit to Scarrow for this.
I even found the Kiwi Geologist Andy Sutherland quite engaging and what he represented was very plausible.
So the build up to the book was of great interest, well crafted and kept me gripped.
However it the started to fall apart at the seams due to too many plot sceanarios which were far fetched and unreal.
An unkown cartel which has been going for some time who were behind the events of WWII, his daughter who saw some of the key members of this cartel and is now the target of this group (who hire an assassin aka The Ghost to murder her), Andy's wife (they are starting divorce proceedings) making her way perilouslly back to London through the carnage caused by the catalysmic events with some guy she has met en route who doesn't seem to play a significant role and so it goes on.
This was, for me, a book about a wake-up call to the the fact that we over-rely on oil to the point that we are doomed without it (unless we plan better for a future without oil).
The story that Scarrow weaved around it was OK.
Positives were ...
It scored well by describing the impending social apocalypse, the subsequent chaos with people going native and by panic buying all remaining supplies of food and water.
There was a very well described scene at a Motorway Service Station as to how close the line is from a civilised society to one in which we behave like animals.
I suppose it's very easy to think that we're safe in Britain.
Whilst we suspect events in the Middle East won't really affect our way of life and blindly believe that the oil will just keep on coming.
But what's Plan B when the oil runs out?
Negatives were ...
Too many implausable aspects of the storyline which spoiled a very good idea.
The apocalyptic genre has many terrific examples.
This could have up there but just missed the gold.