Arcadia – Iain Pears

arcadiaHenry Lytten, an Oxford don, is writing a fantasy novel. As he writes, his gentle pastoral world emerges. Meanwhile a few hundred years in the future, Angela Meerson has discovered a portal to another world and uses it. Thus, the two lives become connected with interesting consequences.

With tongue firmly placed in cheek, Iain Pears has created a novel encompassing several genres. It’s kind of a sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, cold war spy novel. And he happily borrows from everyone . . . Shakespeare, Tolkien, Huxley, Fleming and more. This is so very different from his past novels, and I loved every page. The action and the characters jump from the cold war 1960’s to the dystopian 23rd century to a gentle, pastoral far distant future. The three worlds interconnect and the strands of the story wind around one another.

The novel was conceived and written for an app to be downloaded in order to create a complex narrative that is easy to understand. Users of the app can follow various characters’ story lines at will, can mix them up or keep them separate. I did not download the app and read the book in the traditional manner, enjoyed it, and had no trouble following the story lines.

eGalley review                      Publication date 2.9.16

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