When artists fail to read the small print

Caleb Klaces makes a point in his review of Marcel Theroux’s new novel, Far North, on the main RSA Arts & Ecology website: the moment when Theroux starts to try and create a plausible scientific scenario for the catastrophic future in which his novel is set is the point where you start going, “Umm. Really?”

It takes a great writer to be able to incorporate research into a novel. Theroux opts to include a character explaining how we got into this mess:

The planet had heated up. They turned off smokestacks and stopped flying. Some, like my [Makepeace’s] parents, altered the way they lived. Factories were shut down […] As it turned out, the smoke from all the furnaces had been working like a sunshade, keeping the world a few degrees cooler than it would have been otherwise. He said that in trying to do the right thing, we had sawed off the branch we were sitting on. The droughts and storms that came in the years after put in motion all the things that followed.

See? It’s not really quite like that, is it?

Read the review here.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology