The Girl With All The Gifts

A Book Review 

The Horror director Joe Dante (Gremlins) once said if you wanted gauge a measure of decade then look at the Horror films they made at time, or words to that effect. Zombies are every where at the moment , TV , books , video games and even Lego had some Zombies.

M.R Carey embraces the zombie Zeitgeist. In his novel The Girl with all the gifts. Although they aren’t not called zombies no they are called hungries. And they are stalking the home counties like a an accountant that can no longer afford London.

Carey has taken the zombie in popular culture and melded something rather special from it. One part walking dead (I am not a fan of), one part Romero’s Day of the dead and one part the last of us (one of the most emotionally charged video games made – also with a zombie premiss). With a touch of 28 days later.

Carey’s main theme centres around the arcing story between teacher Helen Justineau and Melanie the aforementioned Girl with all the gifts. From student and teacher on a post collapsed military base but Melanie isn’t a normal child. Sub-plotted with Melanie’s relationship with Sargent Parks and Dr Caldwell. There are others but for me the relationship between these three are the stand out for me.

The story becomes classic Zombie/post apocalyptic fair. A military trying to hold to what they know, relationships between a group of people who would normally avoid each other down the local pub, A Dr needing to know more and the typical gang of outcast and survivalist know as junkers (think Mad Max beyond the thunder dome).

Carey uses the normal plot device of moving his characters from one safe location to another, along the lines of the walking dead and he could have easily fallen in to that territory, but manages to keep the pacing to the point where the reader wants the gang to move on and finally reach that safe place.

Although a number of the familiar plot devices and stereotypes are there which in hindsight could have made this another Zombie story. Carey manages to use these to his advantage both giving the reader a safe narrative and unfamiliar paths. Carey also writes his characters that the reader wants to route for them and are willing to forgive them for anything. Even when one admits to the murdering of a child.

The book excels in not only turning a familiar story around but it also explores relationships, love and the desire to survive when the chips are down.

The book resonated with me, but then that maybe I live near one of the areas mentioned in the story. I am looking forward to Carey’s next work.

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Ban this sick filth

During the 80’s the establishment didn’t like horror films. They even had a list of ones you couldn’t watch. During the 90’s it was Rap and Rock music with them swear words in. You know the ones , if you use them the moral fabric of the world will rip apart. In the early 2000’s they was after the computer games. Didn’t like the computer games no sir.

 

The idea was , the public at large were unhinged and would go on mass killing sprees due to being brainwashed by the media. The government took the population for idiots and they was wrong, go us. Actually studies show if someone is unhinged enough to go on a rampage they will do it any way : http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125351-New-Study-Dismisses-Link-Between-Violence-and-Videogames

 

So as we move along the 2000’s the government have decided to : use an opt in for porn on the internet. That’s right you have to ring someone up if you want to watch porn. Now before you all get on your high horses and tell me how bad porn is, if you read this blog you know :

 

  1. Freedom of speech and expression is something I hold dear.
  2. Censorship is wrong for the mainstream, there is stuff that should obviously be banned.

 

 

Porn is not the point by the way. It is the censorship that is the problem. How long before certain books are banned? Orwell’s prophecy that was 1984. Or V for vendetta? You may like or dislike porn, but people have to be free to watch what they want. How long be for Eastenders becomes a big government propaganda piece? Or banned.

 

Freedom of speech and freedom of expression is what we need. Before we become North Korea.

 

Explore your own ideas on censorship. How long before movies, games and music are again are cut to ribbons, by the moral police?

 

They are fighting for your freedom

 

“They’re fighting for your freedom.” That is what one gets told when he says ; “I am not really a fan of the wars in the Middle East.” People attempt to brow beat you, call you unpatriotic and tell you “If you don’t like why don’t you fuck off over there then?”

 

In the UK on the Armistice it’s traditional to remember the fallen in wars past and present. How we do that in the UK is to wear a paper and plastic facsimile of a poppy. It is a great taboo not to. We get told : You must wear one. You have to remember the dead of all wars. If it wasn’t for the sacrifice made, you would be speaking German by now. And a few other clichés thrown in for good measure.

 

The irony of it is ; we go to war for freedom and peace, to bring democracy to countries who don’t have it , if they want or not. But what freedom? War now is a profit making exercise. From the arms companies lobbying government , newspapers telling the exploits of war and all the wonderful corporations in the country who have juicy M.O.D contracts. If we really want to show our support for “our brave boys” shouldn’t buy shares in the companies? And instead of a poppy wear our dividend on our coats?

 

The First and Second world war were a mixed bag of conscripts and people who volunteered. Now days the wars we fight are made-up by people who sign-up for it. But we must support them after all “They’re fighting for your freedom”

 

They are not fighting for your freedom. They are fighting for profits and millionaires. They might have joined the military for noble reasons. But the government(s) who send them to war, they are not fighting a noble cause. Sent to war by government(s) who have spent more time eroding your freedom than ; Iraq of Afghanistan ever have.

 

No one is fighting for your freedom. Don’t allow the tabloid press and the chest beaters argue any different. I leave you with this : In the middle east when they had an uprising it was dubbed “The Arab spring” when we had mass riots in the UK it was called “Mindless thugs causing trouble” If they was fighting for freedom why do people get arrested over silly tweets and facebook status updates?

The death sentance

In one of my other posts , I explained that I am :

 

Pro-choice

Pro-right to die

Anti death penalty

 

Although the other two may seem diametrically opposed to the last. It is not. The first to allows the individual to make a choice. The last one allows the state to decide over life. I was having a debate on Facebook about death the sentence, and all the arguments where there ; save it for child molesters , murderers and rapist. My counter to this was : What if we get the wrong person? The counter to my question was.. “We would have to be 100% certain”. But in the UK we had many miscaragies of justice , wrongful convictions , evidence being tampered with and people just lying on the witness stand.

 

 

There is a type who call for the death penalty in the UK ; tabloid reading , working class , Jeremy Kyle watching white van drivers. Who save up coupons from the aforementioned tabloid newspapers and go on £9.50 holidays to be surrounded by more of their ilk. Who all seem to be the Klan lite nowadays. I’ve read tabloids , am working class and have watched Jeremy Kyle too. Maybe I am a class traitor.

 

But I digress as soon as the government starts killing its population for : X,Y,Z crime , Where do we stop? Do they add crime W to the list? Then do we allow people who commit rape, murder and child abuse who are mentally ill to get away with it? Or do with execute them too? Do we create a two tier justice system? Even more so than the one we have now?

 

The problem is that if we execute one person who is not guilty of the crime. Just one , it is void as a deterrent. Once it’s void what’s the point in having it? In that United States , states that have the death sentence there is still : murders , rapes and child molesters , so how is this a deterrent? Penn Jillet said of America “The day will execute the wrong person, then we as a country are all guilty of murder” and Mr Jillet makes a good point. For if the whole country are guilty of murder, do we execute every one in the country ?

 

I will leave you a link to a video. Ian Hisslop discussing the issue with a Conservative MP.

 

C****ship

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Censorship offends me. It is ironic the very thing that is designed not to offend me offends me. The removal of the very thing that makes us human, ideas and putting them in to motion being removed is a construct that doesn’t sit well.

Here in the UK we had a shift in the 80s a moral crusade against horror films. In fact many films were banned some still are. Wes Craven’s master piece Last house on the left was banned in the UK in its uncut form until 2008. The UK…the country that had the last great empire the country that had entered two wars in the middle east in the same decade had a film banned. Morality preached by censors but you could see soldiers on all sides of conflict missing limbs and being blow up.

Over 40 films banned in the UK due to a government’s mistrust of its people. Thinking they will go and rein-act the scenes they see on the screen. And if they did why ban the film? People who cause death by dangerous driving we don’t ban cars there is no public out cry against car makers. No we take the person who has killed and put them in prison.

No wars have ever been fought over a movie. But we take the bible and 100s of wars, crimes and acts of violence have. Have we banned the bible? No. 1000s of people die due to what is contained in the pages every year they die. Unspeakable acts of evil are carried out because of it every day. Yet still it is available in schools, hospitals , hotels and libraries for free. If we take the moral high ground over one we must take it over the other.

There is a view that shielding the public from violent games and films is for their protection. But books aren’t held up to such scrutiny. And do you know why? Because of this lofty ideal and damn right insulating view : that people who read are intelligent enough to separate fact from fiction. Yet again most people who are serial killer we read about or see in the press are highly intelligent avid readers. After all Mark Chapman had a copy of catcher in the rye in his pocket when he Shot Lennon. Certain things are banned for good reason, but things where no one gets hurt and it is all above board? Is that just?

Censorship now days, removes knowledge. You remove knowledge you remove reason, and questioning. Remove them we end up as mindless drones falling in line and watching what ever sanitised nonsense they put on tv.

Taking offence is a hobby now days taken up by pseudo left wingers and right wingers. We could run it as democracy if you are offended by something I like then we can ban that but so longs there is something you like I find offensive I can have that banned too . I’ve got the right to call you a cunt and you got the right to call me a cunt . Sure you can not like it and same goes for me but if you want to take that right away in the 21st century after all the progress we have made for good in the most. If you want to remove my right to say it then quite frankly you are a cunt.