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James Bradley (2) (1967–)

Teoksen The Resurrectionist tekijä

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16+ teosta 1,044 jäsentä 42 arvostelua

About the Author

James Bradley was born on May 15, 1967 in Adelaide, South Australia. He is a graduate of the University of Adelaide. His novels include Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist, and Clade. He is the author of a book of poetry entitled Paper Nautilus. He edited two books, Blur: Stories by Young näytä lisää Australian Writers and The Penguin Book of the Ocean. He also writes as a critic and won the 2012 Pascall Prize for Criticism and was named Australian Critic of the Year. His other awards include The Age Fiction Book of the Year and the Kathleen Mitchell Award. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

Sarjat

Tekijän teokset

The Resurrectionist (2006) 466 kappaletta
Clade (2015) 206 kappaletta
Wrack (1997) 148 kappaletta
The Silent Invasion (2017) 61 kappaletta
The Deep Field (1999) 57 kappaletta
Ghost Species (2020) 38 kappaletta
The Penguin Book of the Ocean (2010) — Toimittaja; Avustaja — 20 kappaletta
The Buried Ark (2018) 16 kappaletta
Blur: Stories by young Australian writers (1996) — Toimittaja; Avustaja — 9 kappaletta
Beauty's sister (2012) 8 kappaletta
Paper Nautilus (2013) 3 kappaletta

Associated Works

The Penguin Century of Australian Stories (2000) — Avustaja — 74 kappaletta
Fearsome Magics (2014) — Avustaja — 47 kappaletta
The Best Australian Stories 2003 (2003) — Avustaja — 22 kappaletta
The Best Australian Essays 2009 (2009) — Avustaja — 21 kappaletta
The Best Australian Stories 2016 (2016) — Avustaja — 17 kappaletta
The Best Australian Stories 2012 (2012) — Avustaja — 15 kappaletta
The best Australian stories 2001 (2001) — Avustaja — 14 kappaletta
Penguin Australian Summer Stories (1999) — Avustaja — 14 kappaletta
The Best Australian Stories 2013 (2013) — Avustaja — 12 kappaletta
The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2014 (2015) — Avustaja — 10 kappaletta
Dreaming in the Dark (2016) — Avustaja — 10 kappaletta

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Kirja-arvosteluja

I don't even know where to start, honestly. I was tempted to just review this with a 'yeah, nah.' Instead:

* Early on there are rolling summer power outages. In one instance the power goes off at midnight, and in the morning the character says 'all the food will be spoiled.' This is literally not true, and terrible research, which isn't promising for a novel based on research. How did the editor not catch this? As someone who has lived through rolling power outages, our first google search was 'how long does food last in a closed fridge during a power outage?' Hot tip, 80% of their food wasn't spoiled. The characters then repeatedly throw out their food after every outage and buy it new again. The privilege is insane.

* Cremains are not fine dust that feel as though they are barely heavier than air. A cursory google search confirms they are like coarse sand, and heavier than you think. This could have been a symbolic choice, but in a book of badly researched knowledge (sans climate change), it just feels like...bad research.

* Mystical 'mysterious' ex-doctor Bangladeshi beekeeper only exists to give one character hope.

* The amount of privilege depicted is genuinely incredible.

* Every woman character is detached, aloof or cut off from her emotions or only feels rage or dislike generally, and seems to be damned by her children (or lack thereof). The same can be said for Ellie, Summer and Maddie. Less so Lijuan. Whenever a man becomes detached or aloof, it's always implied or described to be the woman's fault, even though one man responds by literally *going to Antarctica* and yet...still...blaming his wife...for their distance. The latent misogyny embedded in the text is so present it's inescapable. Women are only really hopeful in momentary bursts. Men are usually the ones carrying the 'true emotions.' Whether it's Noah, or Adam, or Tom. Young girls seem to be allowed to have 'real emotions' too. For a while. But then everyone will wonder whether the girl will hurt herself because of them.

* The only overtly queer character in the novel is an underage teenager who pressures another teenage character to make out in front of a camera set up and then shames her when she doesn't, oh and also gives her drugs. Not...ideal representation at the best of times. Nothing else to balance this out.

* The ending is rushed. Suddenly there are aliens? But wait, 15 pages later the book is over! And everyone is staring up at the Shimmer, and there's hope, for no reason! None of the characters introduced in the last section are remotely believable, engaging or likeable. They have a poor excuse at futuristic names except for Izzie. They're not compelling, and what they have to add to the story contributes nothing.

Anyway, I could go on, but basically this felt like extremely easy to read garbage. I feel like I can kind of tell what this book was trying to do, but with no interesting characters to really hook into, and the author's willingness to slowly kill off most of his cast because of the dull plodding of time, there was no real reason to hook into future characters either (I don't always mind this technique, it's been done to great effect by authors like Anne Marie MacDonald, Jeffrey Eugenides and Arundhati Roy). The majority of storylines are never resolved, and are left open-ended in a way that feels lazy rather than creative or well thought out.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
PiaRavenari | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 4, 2023 |
More like 3.5, but I did enjoy it.
 
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Kateinoz | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 14, 2023 |
James Bradley OAM is a novelist, essayist, anthologist and critic. I was prompted to buy his most recent novel Ghost Species after hearing him speak at the 2020 Melbourne Writers Festival, the one that pivoted online during Lockdown. He spoke with Irish author Caoilinn Hughes (The Wild Laughter, see my review) on the topic of Crisis Literature, and their divergent views were interesting. Hughes, writing about the GFC in Ireland, thought that time was needed in order to take a long view of events. Bradley, whose preoccupation with climate change features in Ghost Species as well as his other novels said that it’s not possible to reflect on the past in the same way because things are changing all the time.

So Ghost Species is a novel 'of the moment' which also anticipates a dystopian future. I think I read it too soon after Sally Abbott's debut novel Closing Down, (see my review) because I found myself comparing the two and finding the former more accomplished. I had also read Donna Mazza's Fauna (see my review) which also explored the complications of bio-engineering when a commercial company, Lifeblood(R), offers incentives for women craving motherhood to join an experimental IVF genetics program using non-human DNA. With the final elements of Ghost Species reminding me of the apocalyptic violence of Cormac McCarthy's The Road (which I read ages ago before I started blogging, see a synopsis here), I didn't feel that I was reading original ideas.

It might just have been my timing. Readers whose reviews I follow at Goodreads think highly of this novel.

Ghost Species starts out with an Elon-Musk type of character called Davis Hucken setting up a secluded lab in Tassie. His ambition is to reverse extinction in the hope that restoring the ecosystem with thylacines, mammoths and aurochs can reverse climate change. He hires scientists Kate and Jay to assist with another project, which is to breed a Neanderthal in the hope that it might be possible to learn something from them.

Bradley doesn't dwell on the technicalities of the project, and it all seems credible enough — except for the people involved. Jay is keen from the outset while Kate is dubious. Distrusting Davis's charm, Kate asks why:
'Because we can. Because it gives us the chance to undo the wrong that was done when they were wiped out. But also because we need them; the world needs them. Look at the Earth, at what our carelessness has done to it. We can't let that happen again. We need to be tested by other minds, other perspectives. We need to learn from other eyes to see the world. Think what we could learn from them, from their minds. Imagine speaking to another species!'

Kate shakes her head in disbelief. 'Without an evolutionary context, a community, they wouldn't be another species, they'd be an exhibit, an experiment. All we'd see when we looked into their eyes would be a reflection of our own hubris.'

Davis gives her an oddly blank look. 'Perhaps at first. But you know as well as I do that the nature of life is to adapt, to change.'

'Even if you could reassemble the genetic material, you would require human surrogates,' says Jay. 'As well as human eggs. And I can't begin to imagine how you'd get ethical clearance. Human cloning is banned in almost every country in the world.' (p.26)

So, credibility problem No 1: why would career scientists put their entire future employment at risk by getting involved in a project that is bypassing all the usual ethical research and IVF protocols for an outcome so flimsy, i.e. that they might learn something from a Neanderthal.

Credibility problem No 2 is the surrogate, again bypassing all the protocols and caricatured as having no feelings and taking no interest whatsoever in the baby she is carrying. She vanishes out of the story as if she were no more than an incubator. (I kept expecting her to come back and demand to see the child.)

My rest of my review contains minor spoilers, so visit with caution at https://anzlitlovers.com/2022/10/08/ghost-species-by-james-bradley/
… (lisätietoja)
 
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anzlitlovers | Oct 8, 2022 |
(Spoilers Abound. Beware!)

This was a frustrating book for me.

Climate Change is a hard issue to tackle in a novel, and most authors get it only partly right, mostly due to it being an incredibly complicated and tangled set of issues that affect every aspect of our daily lives. Authors, generally, manage to think through two or three strands really well, and then let the rest of the world go on operating mostly as-is, which makes no sense.

In Clade, extreme weather is grappled with very effectively and convincingly, and some aspects of larger impacts such as changes to daily temperatures and the disintegration of glaciers. Some parts, such as runaway genetically engineered species meant to mitigate some of climate change's harms, were a nice touch.

But the broader implications of how this would affect society as a whole are largely not touched on or considered at all. One gets the impression that after a set of catastrophic storms that take place over the next fifty years or so, climate change is largely over and we get back to normal. This is ridiculous. Storms are going to keep coming and getting worse for at least the next few centuries, and that's just storms.

Who is growing the food?
Who is picking it? Distributing it?
How is it being stored?
How is anything growing, in a changed climate subject to all of these storms and temperature increases?
Who the hell is spending their careers developing virtual reality technologies while society is crumbling around them?
And then who is financing these projects?
Who is mining, processing and transporting the minerals?
Are they still using fossil fuels? If so, god, WHY? If not, what are they using?
The characters are constantly flying all over the place. What in god's name are the airplane's fueling with?
What is the power source for all the technology that is constantly being referenced?

So that's one set of frustrations.

The other set is that climate change is apparently not enough of an existential threat for him.

About two-thirds of the book is about climate change. Then, having run out of steam on ice caps and monsoons, he brings in a plague, aliens, and magnetic pole reversal.

Why?

Finally, his underlying theme seems to be that human life will still be worth living (because we'll have fancy technology and great parties on newly formed beaches?), so don't worry so much.

We hardly need, as a species, to be encouraged not to fear climate change, since we're apparently so determined already not to let it bother us that in the 150 years or so we've known of the possibility and the decades in which it's been scientifically known as an existential threat we've done almost nothing. People will go on having babies, yes, and many of those babies will have wonderful lives, yes, but is that really the overall point that needs to be made at this juncture in our history?
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
andrea_mcd | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 10, 2020 |

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Teokset
16
Also by
13
Jäseniä
1,044
Suosituimmuussija
#24,666
Arvio (tähdet)
3.0
Kirja-arvosteluja
42
ISBN:t
204
Kielet
7

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