Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham

Title: Trouble with Lichen

Author: John Wyndham

Published: Penguin, 2008 (First published 1960)

Pages: 204

Summary: Francis Saxover and Diana Brackley, two scientists investigating a rare lichen, discover it has a remarkable property: it retards the ageing process. Francis, realizing the implications for the world of an ever-youthful, wealthy elite, wants to keep it secret, but Diana sees an opportunity to overthrow the male status quo by using the lichen to inspire a feminist revolution.

As each scientist wrestles with the implications and practicalities of exploiting the discovery, the world comes ever closer to learning the truth...
   (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I have been really enjoying John Wyndham's books and so I was very much excited to read Trouble With Lichen.

One thing I really enjoy about John Wyndham's books is that it's quite difficult to tell what direction the books are going to take.  So while I had an idea about how the story would go I was completely wrong.  John Wyndham's books usually contain some sort of science fiction issue and then it focuses on the human interaction and reactions that occur based on the events.  I felt as though this book had more of a focus on the human element than any of the other books I have read.  It was quite interesting to read about.  I would have liked to have learned more about the lichen and the science behind it but one cannot have everything.

I was happy with the way that the book ended.  I felt as though it sort of left things open ended for me to think about and come up with my own opinion about how things would play out in the future.  I do feel that one thing I'm unsure about was that the beginning of the book basically told you what would happen in the end.  So while that kept me reading, I did find that it made me lose focus on the information being portrayed sometimes because it would make me think, well how does this fit in with what's going to happen at the end?

I'm not sure if I just missed it, but I felt like there was a part of the plot that wasn't explained very well.  It was a point of conflict that was important at one point of the book and then I felt like it never got resolved or explained further so it was constantly in the back of my mind.

I really liked the way that Diana had all these plans and how she handled the way the press wrote about her.  I also thought the articles written by the press about the events were quite interesting to read.  The book as a whole does have an interesting way of discussing the role of women in society and how this lichen could change things.

While this isn't my favourite book of John Wyndham's I did still really enjoy it.  His novels always get me thinking about situations and how people would react to them.  I love Wyndham's novels and cannot recommend them enough.

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