Sputnik Caledonia

Sputnik Caledonia

by Andrew Crumey

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910213339
Publisher: Dedalus Ebooks
Publication date: 11/28/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 690 KB

About the Author

Andrew Crumey was born in Glasgow in 1961. He read theoretical physics and mathematics at St Andrews University and Imperial College in London, before doing post-doctoral research at Leeds University on nonlinear dynamics. After a spell of being the literary editor at Scotland on Sunday he now combines teaching creative writing at Northumbria University with his writing. He is the author of seven novels: Music, in a Foreign Language, Pfitz , D'Alembert's Principle , Mr Mee , Mobius Dick , Sputnik Caledonia and The Secret Knowledge.

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Sputnik Caledonia 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ljbwell on LibraryThing 2 days ago
For better or worse, I often judge books by their covers, which is what initially drew me to Sputnik Caledonia. The book gets off to a great start. Robbie Coyle lives in Kenzie, a Scottish suburb, in the 70s. He has a vivid imagination and dreams of joining the Russian cosmonaut program; he also drifts off into his daydreams, has a tendency to wet his bed, and is seen as a bit of a loner, weird kid by his peers. His father is a rather cranky conspiracy theorist with Communist leanings; his mother is more upbeat, rolls her eyes when the father gets started and provides a more balanced counter to the father. This section of the book develops interesting characters and is a wonderfully written slice of life. We get hints of things being slightly awry, for example, when Robbie hears voices through an old bakelite radio.(POSSIBLE SPOILER, OR AT LEAST FURTHER DETAILS) Then come the 2nd and 3rd parts. The 2nd part jumps 'ahead' to the Installation, where a 20ish year old Robert Coyle has been recruited from the military to join this highly secret, experimental mission; even he and the other recruits are not told much about the program. This is where the science fiction/alternate reality really kicks in. The Installation is in Scotland, but very cordoned off from its surroundings; higher-ranked residents have their own vouchers instead of money, can't discuss their jobs with lower ranks, and find release, well, of all kinds at the Blue Cat. This is an alternate Scotland, where Communism has prevailed and a space program is being developed. Without giving too much away, the 3rd part shifts yet again. (END)Again, I loved the 1st part of this book. I was less enamored of the 2nd part. The alternate reality is interesting, and the parallels to stories of life behind the Iron Curtain are clear. The 3rd part leaves the reader with a lot to debate in terms of what actually has happened. These are all positive points. It just felt that the writing and the characters so wonderfully drawn and captured in the 1st part get lost in the more strident, even stream-of-consciousness latter sections. The new characters in these sections just don't have the same depth. That said, it did leave me still thinking about it for several days and wanting to talk about it with others.