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Clade by James Bradley review - the apocalypse is happening

A convincing family drama merges with our heedless despoiling of the planet in this futuristic novel of climate breakdownReading Australian James Bradley's "cli-fi" novel as large areas of Asia and Texas are flooded ramps up the disturbing effect of its incrementally apocalyptic scenarios. Bird die-offs, mass fish deaths, wildfires and storms are just the beginning as Bradley zooms into the future via a sequence of linked narratives. The "clade" of the title is the set of all the descendants of Adam Leith, a climatologist; each chapter focuses on the next generation of Adam's family (and naturally his name has symbolic resonance), enabling Bradley's predictions for Earth to fast-forward at Koyaanisqatsi-like speed while the human actors replay their inherited traits of awkwardness, poor communication skills and attachment issues. The structure, at once intimate and epic, works well as a means of delivering human-scale stories against the backdrop of the most human story of all: our heedless despoiling of the home planet. Almost inevitably, there is something of the blockbuster movie about this: the beleaguered family battling to stay together as the world ends. But Bradley's deft merging of near-future predictions and cutting-edge science into a convincing setting for his family drama enables us to focus on the interactions between the characters. The apocalypse is happening, even as our messed-up lives distract us.o Clade is published by Titan. To order a copy for ?6.79 (RRP ?7.99) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over ?10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of ?1.99. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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