Sunday 22 February 2009

Camp Concentration by Thomas M Disch

Louis Sacchetti, overweight poet and draft dodger bears a passing resemblance to Burgess' Enderby, and the first half of the novel has some of the verbal virtuosity and subversive books of Burgess' books. The set-up has elements of a dark satire on the extent to which governments will go to further their own interests, especially in times of war, real or aggravated. The narrative fragments a few too many times for comfort, although that actually makes this a more true-to-life novel in journal form than most, and the science fictional elements as well as the dillemas they pose seem to recede in favour of an examination of a one-dimensionally evil persona and a fortunate ending that greatly reduced the impact of the book's horrors. Good in parts; extremely good at moments, but ultimately not as unflinching or integral as '334'

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