THE NEWS FROM KARACHI by William Wood

THE NEWS FROM KARACHI

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Scarecely more than a novella in length, this differs sharply in more ways than size from its predecessor, The Fit (report 1960- p. 704). For this is really a parable, projected into a future when bomb testing is wholly predictable and constant, and when successive generations are paying the price in physical, emotional and neurasthenic symptoms, resulting from a world blanketed with fallout. Plague- origin reported as ""unknown"", is wiping out whole populations:- Honolulu one year, Barcelona another, and as the story opens, Karachi, Pakistan, is next on the list. Prophecies indicate that a hundred years hence the world will be populated by monsters- so why does it matter? ... But to the Prime Minister, who has become a symbol of saintliness, it matters, and he has decided on dramatizing the inhumanity of the march of science by engineering his own destruction at a predictable moment. Is he in time? Only one of his eleven children is a wholly normal being. Much of the story concentrates on Tharn, a son at odds with his father's reputation, with scarcely a glimmer of rightness remaining that can be salvaged to redeem his father's sacrifice. The reader is left-deliberately- with the answers unsolved, the outcome unresolved, the challenge to the individual to examine his own responsibility in a world gone mad. Written with incisive tartness and occasional wit of a sardonic sort. Though William Wood has something pertinent to say, one wonders- will it be read?

Pub Date: April 9th, 1962
Publisher: Macmillan