So ladies and gentleman please welcome Robin to the blog to tell you exactly why he loves MR Carey’s Girl with All the Gifts…
It was the publishers introduction that drew me to read this book.
It spoke of Melanie, a very intelligent little girl who goes to school, has friends, enjoys books and really likes her favourite teacher Miss Justineau, (she introduces Melanie to Greek myths including the story of Pandora and the box she opens).
She thinks herself a normal 10-year-old child, but every morning she’s muzzled at gun point by Sergeant Parks and his men and strapped to a wheelchair so thoroughly she can’t move her head, as are all her class mates. “I won’t bite”, she jokes, but they don’t laugh.
None of this makes sense as we see the world through Melanie’s eyes, but this girl lives in an extremely strange school and the joy of the book is finding out more and more about her world.
I particularly liked the Girl with All the Gifts because it is a story of a fascinating group of extremely well drawn characters and their journey of discovery. Melanie is an orphan and wants Miss Justineau to take the place of her parents, but there are considerable trust problems involved.
The first person perspective is brilliantly executed in a way that allows you to empathise with virtually every character in the end (except Caroline Caldwell, a single minded scientist, of course).
Although I enjoyed MR Carey’s writing, it was brilliantly descriptive, I wouldn’t pretend the pace of the book worked as well as it might. I found it somewhat slow, but that didn’t make me want to stop reading for one moment.
For readers that enjoyed this book, I would thoroughly recommend reading “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson, assuming you haven’t seen the dreadful film starring Will Smith and an alsatian. OK pretend the book and the film are not related and read it anyway. It must have inspired MR Carey.
Sounds pretty good hey? The book received a mixed reaction in book club, but Robin has done a brilliant job of describing what exactly it was about it that drew us all in. Whether we loved it or hated it, it was a compulsive read. And we firmly believe that the best books are those that spark debate.
It was during our book group discussions that we found out that the book is being made into a film and that there re is going to be a sequel. We couldn’t resist asking Robin what he thought about the impending adaptation and followup:
I could count the number of books that have been made into good films on one hand so I’m not optimistic. I am however really looking forward to the sequel and to finding out what Melanie did next.
Our thoughts exactly, though one half of the yes team did a dissertation about novels and film adaptations so maybe that’s a topic for a different time…
If you’ve read the book please let us know what you thought! And as always with our guest posts, we will leave you with some Yes Directory inspiration, courtesy of the lovely Robin: