Set in the near future, The Ice People imagines an ice age enveloping the Northern Hemisphere. It is Africa’s relative warmth that offers a last hope to northerly survivors. As relationships between men and women break down, the novel charts one man’s struggle to save his alienated son and bring him to the south and to salvation.
Maggie Gee is the author of The White Family, shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and The Flood, longlisted for the Orange Prize. She is the first female chair of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in London.
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Maggie Gee was chosen as one of Granta's original 'Best Young British Novelists'. She has published many novels to great acclaim, including My Cleaner, The Flood, and The White Family which was short listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002 (UK). She is the first female chair of the Royal society of Literature and lives in London.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This sounded like an interesting concept when I spotted it in the bookstore. While the current preoccupation is with global warming and the melting of the ice caps etc, what if the earth actually got colder, and the Northern lands became uninhabitable? Suddenly Africa would come into its own. This is the main theme of this novel, but there are others along the way.First of all, the novel takes us a few years into the future, where society has been split - acrimoniously - along gender lines. Fertility has decreased massively. Explanations were given for this state of affairs, but not really enough for my liking. It's a big jump from where we are now - ie record numbers of teenage pregnancies in the UK. Assuming belief can be suitably suspended, we are introduced to the central female character, initially likeable, who first opposes the status quo, gender-wise, but after a series of bizarre personality mutations ends up a harridan, leaving her former partner to, erm, bonk the family's robotic housekeeper.Oddly, I thought the robot stole the show. She got all the best lines. I didn't get the feather thing, though. Why did she have feathers?What struck me most about the book was the way men dealt with the breakdown of traditional male-female relations by turning to robots who fulfilled all the traditional female roles (housekeeping, comfort, sex, reproduction) without the more modern ones (career, intelligence). It was a sort of consequences-of-extreme-women's-lib message that came out of this story, more than any tale of African world dominance. I would have liked to hear more about that, but still a good read, with reservations.
I picked up The Ice People on a whim and thoroughly enjoyed the book and getting to know a very original and talented writer, Maggie Gee. The story, of a world gone burning hot with global warming and then freezing with a new ice age, is narrated by Saul, the father who risks everything to bring his son to Africa's warm refuge. I enjoyed the story, which revealed sobering scenarios of how quickly civilization is lost in the face of catastrophic climate change, while unfolding an adventure of a father's quest to rescue his son and bring him to Ghana. The British society that Gee envisions -- with frightening ramifications of a gender war and a police state -- is not one to aspire to. Instead, this is a cautionary tale that warns us of the perils of taking extremist stances. At the same time, I enjoyed Gee's light but vivid writing style and the voice of Saul throughout the book. The story of apocalyptic collapse of civilization -- at the hands of Man and Nature -- reminds me of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, but strikes me as more humanistic and optimistic. A real thought prevoker!