Green and Pleasant Land


Worth reading 😎

A mix of thought-provocation and drama that greatly fulfils the desires that emerge when reading dystopian fiction.

Good dystopian fiction asks questions of a reader. Questions such as, how did society get to this position? What went wrong? What went right? How does this compare to the life we have now, and the potential future that goes with it? ‘Green and Pleasant Land’ by Steve Shahbazian raises these questions.

What really stood out was the internal debate it raised for me as a reader and the complexity in the events taking place. In other words, it was true to the political genre in which it sits. The protagonist, Roger Tyson, was not totally lovable as a character, nor was he totally disagreeable. Through him, issues around power, leadership, free speech, patriotism, love and economics were all explored, and that is just to name a few. The book challenged me to think about what I really thought around these subjects, often determined by who I found myself supporting. The Furigans and Muhonin were despised by Tyson, but parts of me sympathised with their cause. In aspects such as this lies the success of the book.

Having said this, it would be easy for me to fall into a trap of analysing the theory of all these issues in relation to the book, but that is not the only place in which it triumphs. There is also excitement, suspense and action in abundance. It is not merely dystopian politicians sitting and talking about the way of the world, there is much more than that to sink your teeth into. The book comes down to the wire, with Roger Tyson having many run-ins with death in a dramatic alternative Britain in which civil war brews. The book well and truly kept me on the edge of my seat, with twists waiting around every corner.

The Japanese-infused Britain that Shahbazian creates intrigued me greatly too. Simply because a book is fictive, does not mean it cannot educate, and I enjoyed this particular lesson. It gave me an insight into what a Japanese political and societal landscape may look like in the familiar backdrop of Britain. An educational and out of the ordinary experience. If I were nit-pick, I would say this could have been taken further, as it was an interesting idea. Roger Tyson, too, could have been more emotionally developed. At times he felt somewhat one dimensional, in the sense that he either felt anger or pure ecstasy, with a lack of the emotions in between.

Nevertheless, this book was enjoyable, exciting and thought provoking and I would take pleasure in urging people to read it.  

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My happy place is anywhere there is a book to read from an author you’ve never heard of and a pint of Big Wave.

About the author

Steve Shahbazian has won no awards, no competitions and isn't critically acclaimed. Some of his best friends have gone so far as to describe his work as “okay in places” and his books have been in huge demand, mostly due to the large number of wonky tables needing propping up. He lives in London. view profile

Published on July 15, 2019

Published by

80000 words

Genre: Dystopian

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