“ Genre: Fiction / Author: Garry Douglas Kilworth / Edition: New Ed / Paperback / 256 Pages / Book is published 1989-06-22 by Collins Educational „
The novel is set after a World nuclear war has almost wiped the human race out. The remaining humans have adopted some peculiar customs in a bid to survive and time, a lot of time, has passed.
A small group of humans live on what is known as Cloudrock. Here the customs are more odd than can be believed
The society is ruled by woman, a matriarchy, incest is rife. Mothers marrying sons etc..When you die you are eaten by the clan and your spirit is kept within the group, cannibalism.
And the worst of all. If you are born with any defect then the baby is thrown from the edge of Cloudrock down through the mists to the ground miles below!
Our Hero, roughly speaking , is called shadow. He is deformed and only alive because of his handsome brother. His brother loves him so much he totally ignores him,to acknowledge him would mean Shadows instant death.
There are also night people on Cloudrock and hidden in the mists, ghost people catching the babies. I will say no more but this is a very very good novel.
The pace of the plot is fast and slick. The writing excellent and crisp and fresh. The characters are likable and the baddies get their comeuppance. the ending is predictable but non the less superb for it.
I highly recommend this book.
Written by Garry Kilworth.
Author - Garry Kilworth.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in, seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
This introduction sets up what is to be a wonderfully inventive read. Though you might not think so when I give you some of the background to the story that is..... Cloudrock.
Cloudrock is a spit of land sticking out of the ground to a height of a couple of miles. Think of a huge mushroom but with a flat rather than doomed top. Add in forests, lakes, animals and people and you have your own enclosed society.
It is a cleverly written book starting with, but not exclusively about, 2 brothers, one of whom is a Shadow.
NO don't stop reading he's not actually a shadow but because he was born deformed he was to be thrown from the edge of cloudrock to a ghastly death below.
However, because of the love of his slightly older brother he is spared and is now his brothers 'Shadow', following him around, eating scraps of food and wearing cast off rags.
His life always hanging in the balance for if someone should acknowledge his existence, it would mean a swift and certain death.
I won't go into the story anymore but it does involve things such as incestuous marriages, cannibalism, secret people catching the babies that are cast into the abyss, the night people, secret passages to the ground miles below, earthquakes, poisoness gases etc.........
In parts the book reminded me of the caste of people in India called the 'Untouchables' of whom no one acknowledges, only in this book it's taken to its extreme.
You do get a real sense of terror that 'shadow' feels when anyone looks or moves in his direction.
Shadow - Main Character.
Clay - the Shadows brother.
Catrunner - Clays mother and soon to be Clays wife!
Tilana - Clays sweetheart and one of the night people.
Turningfast - Leader of the Unwanted.
The characters are well rounded with excellent dialogue between them.
The descriptive narration of Cloudrock and its environments is sublime.
The revelations in the book are well thought out and sensible.
The ending is simple and thankfully has no silly twists, which seems to be in vogue in many of today's films and books.
A Page Turner you will enjoy.
Book length - 160 pages.
Publisher - Unwin Paperbacks.
Rating - 8/10