If you like literary science fiction, then Jeff Noon is the author for you....
From best-selling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed historical and contemporary commercial novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller....
Twenty years ago, it was as if someone turned on a light. The future blazed into existence with each deliberate word that William Gibson laid down....
Jason Taverner - world-famous talk show host and man-about-town - wakes up one day to find that no one knows who he is - including the vast databases of the totalitarian government....
The Singularity. It is the era of the posthuman. Artificial intelligences have surpassed the limits of human intellect....
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her....
The sweet death of Coyote, master taxi driver, was only the first. Soon people are sneezing and dying all over Manchester. Telekinetic cop Sybil Jones knows that, like Coyote, they died happy – but even a happy death can be a murder. As exotic blooms begin to flower all over the city, the pollen count is racing towards 2000 and Sybil is running out of time.
Jeff Noon was born in Manchester in 1957. He was trained in the visual arts, and was musically active on the punk scene before starting to write plays for the theatre. His first novel, Vurt, was published in 1993 and went on to win critical acclaim and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. He went on to write Pollen, set in the same world as Vurt, and many other novels including Automated Alice, Pixel Juice and Needle in the Groove. His latest novel is Channel SK1N. You can find out more about Jeff and his books at www.metamorphiction.com.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
Perversions aside, this book would have been better classified as a YA novel rather than a science fiction work. There wasn't an ounce of science. The fantasy realm felt very juvenile.
What was most disappointing about Jeff Noon’s story?
The Vurt world was un-fascinating. The lust-infused world fell flat.
What about Maggie Mash’s performance did you like?
She was all-around good.
Was Pollen worth the listening time?
Nope. difficult to finish as I lost interest in the Alice-In-Wonderland parallel universe
This was a fitting sequel to "Vurt" and although set in the same settings and written in the same style, I had hoped for more references to the original protagonist "scribble" from the first book. Although the characters were linked and the story diverted from the one told in the first book, I found this story less engaging.
Still a good book nonetheless, however I personally found the story less of a page turner so to speak. If you have read vurt, I definitely recommend this sequel too but I enjoyed the first book more.
Would you consider the audio edition of Pollen to be better than the print version?
I have read the printed version and must say that I much preferred it.
What did you like best about this story?
It is a truly great read.
Would you be willing to try another one of Maggie Mash’s performances?
NO, I really did not enjoy her performance, in fact it ruined my enjoyment of the book and may put me off trying further audible books
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
If you could sum up Pollen in three words, what would they be?
Fantastical. Gripping. Ambitious
Who was your favorite character and why?
Well, with Maggie Mash making a great effort to define the different characters - which, if you have read 'Vurt' or have some knowledge of these novels, you will already appreciate the complexity and depth of what Noon paints as being the Manchester of the future. The debasement of humanity itself over time and the reprocussions thereof, has meant a real depth to the setting and plot(s). However, I believe, that this has at times been at the expense of the characters and, as such, the story. So, in short, I actually found all the characters to be interesting and worthy of being fleshed out more, making it very difficult to actually have one favourite.
Have you listened to any of Maggie Mash’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No, this was the first for me and I was impressed, given that I would probably have been hoarse by about the 3rd or 4th chapter (with most characters being male and, on occasions, also very gruff)!
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I have found the concepts and pace of this book to really be the winning formulas. Even the, what would be, moving parts of the novel do not follow the traditional 'rules' and continue to lead the reader into even more unforeseen twists in the plot...
Any additional comments?
To sum up, this was an exciting and compelling 'read', even if at times it did feel a little too ambitious, with many of the aspects that make this book so different and clever still needing explanation and exploration in order to tie everything together. It felt like there might have been slightly too many instances where the reader is relied upon to just accept Noon's ideas, in the hope that all will be explained later. Even when I found that this did happen on the whole, sometimes the explanations were a little too shallow and some of my questions have still been left dangling in anticipation of his next book of the series!