Sunday, December 10, 2006

Trusting our Children: Prose, Francine. After. New York: Harpercollins, 2003.

Francine Prose is a well-known US novelist for adults, but I didn't know that and the book's opening gave all the impression of "amateur sf" ie heavy on the allegory and with alll the worldbuilding technique of a suburban tract builder. Then I came across, Reading Like a Writer and fell in love, spotted this book on the to be read shelf and decided to give it a go.

It doesn't start promisingly but builds into a very satisfactory bit of sf whose "what if" begins "what if our distrust of teens deepens...?"

There has been a massacre at a high school in a different state. Suddenly there is a new head teacher, kids are being frisked for weapons and more and more things become forbidden. As parents acquiesce, the rebellious students are picked off. Eventually the progatonist and his friends go to check out the school that was the original victim, and discovers all the students have been taken away. With the help of the few parents who haven't been reading the letters home, they head for the hills.


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