If someone had told me I’d find a 722 page novel about climate change and pollution as engrossing as a James Bond novel, I’d have thought they were mad. However Trevor Hoyle’s The Last Gasp does just that.
Kicking of with a British marine biologist discovering declining levels of phytoplankton in the Antarctic seas, Hoyle takes us on a rip-roaring adventure that includes: the deployment of the US Un-Patriot Act against climate change protesters; Cuba becoming a massive offshore jail, the shady Association of American Values getting into bed with big business and an apocalyptic church to run the US government; government sanctioned murders; crazed Pentagon generals deploying Weapons of Climate Degradation; mutated wildlife and genetic experiments to create a post apocalyptic master race. This ia all against increasing levels of CO2 and ultra violet radiation, acid rain, global warming and rising sea levels.
Funny thing is this book was originally published in 1988, before such things as the Patriot Act and GITMO and its predictions about things like polar ice cap melts and plankton die-offs seem remarkably accurate and scary. This is a climate dystopia on a Ballardian scale, but written in the style of a contemporary spy thriller so more Ian Fleming than John Wyndham. and it just does not give up its pace until the very last page. Characters are completely believable and some of them bear remarkably scary similarities to today’s politicians.Sure some of the bits about post Glasnost Russia could have done with revising in the new edit but it’s still a great read
I knocked this off in five days while on an all-inc holiday in Montenegro so ideal holiday reading for us twisted Flowers.
Ballardian catastrophe collides with James Bond thrills I give The Last Gasp a big 666/666
The Last Gasp is out now from our friends at Jo Fletcher Books price £10.99