10/06/2010

Ant God by James Lovegrove - Barrington Stoke Book 20

In my last review I read Lord of the Void by James Lovegrove. It was a different sort of book to the other Barrington Stoke books I had read. I was keen to check out another James Lovegrove book, Ant God.

Ant God is quite a read. Despite being half the length of Lord of the Void it covers much deeper subject matter on a very human level. Dan, the narrator, gives us the 'real' story of his friend Jason's big ideas, not the version he's told parents, teachers or the police. Jason is quite a handful for Dan, "too smart for his own good". But despite being such a difficult friend he certainly makes life interesting so Dan puts up with his mood swings.

Things get out of hand as Jason begins killing ants, this in turn inspires him to new ideas about power and influence. It all builds to a climax as things get out of control. The suspense is built very cleverly. The death of a few ants and a thunderstorm are used to suggest something devastating is about to occur.

The book is quite philosophical, much is left unexplained. If events occur on a scale we can't grasp, is there a god at work? It reminded me of the The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks both books use the torture of insects to explore issues of mental stability and free-will. Ant God is a much simpler book, but if read in a reading partnership, it will certainly provide a lot of talking points.

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