Saturday, June 23, 2012
Ever since H.G.Wells wrote When the Sleeper Wakes, dystopian societies have been a favorite subject amongst authors and readers alike. Twentieth century's writers painted vivid pictures of multitude of such societies and they let our imagination run wild.
After Battle Royale of Koushun Takami in 1999, the standard of dystopian literature took a deep plunge. With the release of the The Hunger Games trilogy, the quality of such works reached an all time low. The success of such books also make us wonder whether we are going through 'The Twilight' of dystopian fiction.
The Water Thief by Nicholas Lamar Soutter is a fresh relief. The plot is simple, and it takes us through the monotonous life of Charles Thatcher, an employee of a corporate giant, which controls almost every business. Every aspect of life is measured in 'caps' (or money), which warns us of a near future when clean water and air will be charged. Charles meets a woman, and she helps him to see through the corruption and greed, and makes him think of a free life. The culmination of the events is quite unexpected, and also difficult to guess. I would say that it was quite a cliffhanger.
But the distinctive aspect of this book is the themes of business, corruption, greed, freedom and human life, which is explained quite in detail by the author. It can get quite complicated at sometimes, and I had to turn back the pages and read again. But this aspect of the book is what makes it stand out amongst such similar works.
Like I said before, the ending is quite unexpected. After watching Inception, I left the theatre with a heavy heart, trying to guess whether it was all a dream or reality. Similarly, when I reached the last page in my Kindle, I swiped it many times trying to find whether I had missed any pages. It's quite an ending, and I had a go for a short drive around the city to calm my mind.
To sum up, this is one of the best dystopian novel I have ever read. If you are fan of Battle Royale, The Running Man, I am Legend (movie), 28 Days Later (movie), this is a must read. If you are one of the 'those' fans of The Hunger Games, then read this book to understand what is really meant by a dystopian work of fiction. If Hunger Games lies at 'The Twilight' spectrum of the genre, then The Water Thief inches closer to 'The Dracula' spectrum.
You can buy the book from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007VTMNEO/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img) or Smash Words (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/154585)