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  • By jim
    Mar 7, 2017
    There was a time, not too long ago in the past, when the town library was both a resource for learning and a sign of civilised attainment. This was in the days when those with a practical bent of mind or those who just wanted to learn, popped down to the library. If you needed to fix anything, the source of information was to hand. Writing Day is set at a point in time in the future where there are no more libraries, except for one. This last library is underground or, to be more precise, under a massive tip. Just as we might celebrate Mother’s Day, those who live in this library have a Writing Day. They have existed so long underground they have no idea what is on the surface. Here, Park is saying something about our attitudes to libraries. In this story, a want-to-be librarian is compelled to leave. I am drawn to consider what would happen if the distant servers that power our entertainment and information needs, were no longer available. I applaud e-books but they come at a price.... More > The title story harks to the patience of the British in adversity. In a future UK, great masses of people are pushed out of work. The motorways are empty of cars and the unemployed go from town to town. It’s set near Manchester, an area I know quite well. There are no heroes or villains. The use to which derelict supermarkets are put left me feeling that this was a much more plausible future than the glitz popular in the media. There are Migrant Centres regulating the flow of people; but these are in the UK, on the motorways and the unemployed are drawn from the nomenklatura. I don’t drive but I know the chaos caused by roadworks. Both traffic and roadworks seem to conspire against the narrator in this story. It’s gridlock and he’s going to be late for work so he takes a short cut. This is a decision that misfires but as a result he sees another side of the city, impatient parking officials, maniacal bus drivers and of course more roadworks. I think this is a subtle metaphor about the consequences of stepping outside of our comfort zone. There is a quiet, almost reverential thread of dystopia to Undercroft. Imagine a building so large you never needed to leave. Its rooms and corridors are never ending and no one can know them all. To help with renovations, Broadsquire, a scribe, is given a mission in which he learns something about himself, the assistant lent to him and the building they occupy. I felt an echo Lampedusa’s The Leopard. I look forward to more by this author.< Less
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Product Details

Self published
May 17, 2016
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.43 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
Product ID
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