Book Review: The Cockroach By Ian McEwan, narrated by Bill Nighy
on Sheila Ash (India), 10/Jan/2023 11:51, 34 days ago
Please note this is a cached copy of the post and will not include pictures etc. Please click here to view in original context.

The CockroachbyIan McEwanMy rating:2 of 5 starsWhen I started reading this novella from Ian McEwan I was reminded of the classicThe MetamorphosisbyFranz Kafka,
but very quickly the notion of a homage was dispelled and we are into
the realm of political satire. ****SPOLIER ALERT****Jim Sams, UK PM has
been transformed into a cockroach yet, but he is still PM, in modern day
Britain but not quite as we know it, although everything sounds
familiar. Reversalism rules, reverse-flow economics is the norm and the
traditional money markets preferred by the 'Clockwisers' are no longer
in power, now people have to shop to afford to buy their jobs. The
previous PM in order to placate the Reversalist wing of the Tory Party
had called a Referendum on reversing the money flow. The old and the
poor swayed the vote and faced with "Turn the Money Around" upswell he
'resigned immediately and was never heard of again' .James Sams a
clockwiser had emerged as a compromise candidate now had to guide a
Reversalist economy in a Clockwise world. ' we will deliver Reversalism
for the purpose of uniting and re-energising our great
2050... the UK will be the greatest and most prosperous economy in
Europe....we will move swiftly to accelerate and extend our trade deals
beyond St Kitts and Nevis.... 'Any Brit will hear resounding in her ears echoes of the misjudged Cameron EU Referendum .James
wrestles with his first Tweets, tries to get the US President to adopt
Reversalism, there's a fatal fishing dispute with the French, a leak and
a Foreign Secretary called Benedict that needs dealing with. A false
story is planted by a female colleague with the media to discredit and
shame the Foreign Secretary who then has to resign and goes off to lead
the rebels.With the ultimate passing of the Reversalism Bill,
James in his speech says "we have come to know the preconditions for
such human ruin. War and global warming certainly and, in peacetime,
immoveable hierarchies, concentrations of wealth, deep superstition,
rumour, division, distrust of science, of intellect, of strangers and of
social cooperation."One can't but feel McEwan enjoyed writing
this book, and from a reader's perspective it is short, speedy read
which occasional bring sly smiles to one's face, but is it a great piece
of creative writing?, I felt McEwan struggled to maintain his PM as
cockroach character and Sams reverted to the PM as human in this
reader's mind for large parts of this book. Maybe it is a book that
inevitably had to be written. Could it have been written with the same
of better effect without the cockroach transformation? That I feel that
could have been a better book. Sadly, not one of McEwan's better books -
for me an interesting idea that didn't quite work.I listened to the audio version admirably read by Bill Nighy.ashramblings