Book review: News from Gardenia, By Robert Llewellyn
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 25 October 2013
Positive Utopian novels – as opposed to scary, despotic dystopias – have fallen off the map at least since Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Paying homage to William Morris, but cleverly updating his ideas of a self-sufficient, post-scarcity society, the actor-writer paints a sunlit picture of a future England as a green paradise.
Low-energy "pod" space travel (Heathrow-JFK: 21 minutes) frees its citizens from the stifling parochialism of most eco-blueprints.
And Llewellyn gives a vivid, almost credible, account of the global upheavals that led to "Gardenia".
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
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The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains