Friday, July 28, 2017

Boualem Sansal - 2084 - La Fin Du Monde (Gallimard, 2015) *

As much as I liked "Rue Darwin", the novel by French Algerian author Boualem Sansal, as much I never got into this one, called "2084  La Fin Du Monde", with reference obviously to George Orwell's "1984". 

This time, the depicted world is called Abistan, where all inhabitants follow the rule of the prophet, and where only one culture, religion and history exists. Thanks to an abstract "Enemy", the people live united and in full submission without any room for personal thoughts or questions. Ati, the main character starts finding cracks in the system, finding evidence that there is another world somewhere, and that other civilisations once existed. But trying to uncover the forbidden truth is an act of rebellion with the severest punishment. 

The dystopia is cruel. It's a horrifying thought about what would happen if the entire world was ruled by one oppressive religion. Like "1984", it is a frightening prospect. And like "1984" as frightening as the projected future world is, as shallow is the plot. A significant amount of space is used to describe the world in the book, with the religion as the main character, more than Ati himself.

Reading this book was not fun. And even if that may not have been its main purpose, it also did give any new insights or new perspectives or even delight in the style or the composition. Somehow, the novel left me totally indifferent. 

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