Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blind Faith by Ben Elton

Hmmmmmmmm .... irony is crunchy and good with tomato sauce.

Blind Faith is set in a post oceans-rising world, where privacy has become a perversion and every aspect of people's lives is expected to be lived out in public _ on blogs, webcams and shouted as loudly as possible.

Elton is a viciously funny, cynical writer but there is a core of sadness that runs deep in Blind Faith: hardly any children survive. All that matters is the Faith and science _ including vaccinations _ has been outlawed and is pretty much punishable by death.

London is a wet, stinking crowded mire of a city with people living in ever-more crowded spaces as the waters fail to recede and nothing is really done to improve living conditions.

Trafford, however, is a rebel. He keeps secrets and fails to put his daughter's birthing video up on the web straight away, earning him the ire of his Confessor.

Blind Faith is a bit like 1984, only instead of Big Brother, everyone is watching, all the time. The cult of the personality has become so elevated here that Diana (I'm presuming the Princess of Wales one) is worshipped as a deity and a law is passed making everyone famous.

It's a less-than-subtle mockery of our own obsession with celebrity and our willingness to make the most ordinary person famous, just for being on television.

After a relatively minor act of rebellion _ Trafford secretly has his daughter Caitlin Happymeal (yes, really _ all of the names are like that) vaccinated, things begin to spiral very quickly out of control. Trafford meets others who worship Reason rather than themselves, he falls in love with someone other than his wife and when Caitlin Happymeal is revered as a miracle child for surviving a measles plague and a mumps plague, things really start to go mad.

Blind Faith is viciously funny, terribly sad and a very good read.


Ana S. said...

It really does sound like a very good read. One more for the wishlist.

Maree said...

Happy to help! :)
Chart Throb is good, too.