Arcadia

Arcadia

Book - 2015
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Henry Lytten - a spy turned academic and writer - sits at his desk in Oxford in 1962, dreaming of other worlds. He embarks on the story of Jay, an eleven-year-old boy who has grown up within the embrace of his family in a rural, peaceful world - a kind of Arcadia. But when a supernatural vision causes Jay to question the rules of his world, he is launched on a life-changing journey. Lytten also imagines a different society, highly regulated and dominated by technology, which is trying to master the science of time travel. Meanwhile - in the real world - one of Lytten's former intelligence colleagues tracks him down for one last assignment. As he and his characters struggle with questions of free will, love, duty and the power of the imagination, Lytten discovers he is not sure how he wants his stories to end, nor even who is imaginary...
Publisher: London : 2015. Faber & Faber,
ISBN: 9780571301584
Branch Call Number: AF PEAR

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morrich
Mar 15, 2017

Iain Pears' prose is very smooth and easy to read. There is excellent character development here too. With these two fundamentals in place, Mr Pears is off to a good start. I am not a big fan of fantasy literature, but I must say I enjoyed the part of the book set in Anterwold the most. I particularly liked the concept of the "story". The concept of having a time machine in the basement was both a bit wonky and yet charming at the same time. I found the linkage between the three parts of the book to be a bit tangled though, with some loose descriptions of past and future linkages and cause and effect. Overall, the novel is entertaining though, and in that sense it succeeds.

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debover60
Jan 02, 2017

A mind-stretching panoply of increasingly suspenseful stories, which interconnect, diverge, spring against each other like literary pinball and lead the reader on a grand adventure through time. Absolutely one of the best time split/scifi novels I've had the pleasure of reading. For sheer surprise and delight, rates up there with Ready, Player One.

spl_merley Dec 11, 2016

In Arcadia Iain Pears blurs the lines between cause and effect, power and control, the real and the imagined as he takes us on a rollicking journey through alternate histories where the real battles are fought with one's wit and intelligence.

r
rpavlacic
Mar 17, 2016

A dystopian future where knowledge is punished, the nuclear bomb revered and where it becomes possible to alter the past through time travel. 1960 England, during the Kennedy-Nixon US election and when the Red Scare was red hot with security services on hyper alert. A Utopian world where knowledge is sacred and fatalism accepted. Not to mention the ability to be in two places at once. All of these combine into a story that combines the best elements of science fiction and fantasy. Author Iain Pears has outdone himself with this marvelous tale where the plot lines go in directions the reader would least expect.

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spl_merley Dec 11, 2016

Realizing that her discovery allows travel not to alternate universes but to the past, Dr. Angela Meerson sees the potential for harm, destroys her research and uses her machine to escape those who would abuse her discovery by travelling into the past herself. In 1960's England Meerson meets an academic and dabbling author whose notes about a book called Arcadia she uses to create a new machine so that she can continue her research and solve the problems of the future. When a teenage girl steps through the machine and finds herself in Arcadia the collision of past, present and possible futures becomes another threat to manage. Pursued by other time-travellers, under suspicion of being a spy and plagued by the problem of her experiment with Arcadia taking on a life of its own Meerson struggles with working out the role she can play in shaping or saving the future.

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