Wednesday 27 May 2015

The Seed Collectors - Scarlett Thomas


"I have no idea why everyone thinks nature is so benign and glorious and wonderful. All nature is trying to do is kill us as efficiently as possible."

Great Aunt Oleander is dead. To each of her nearest and dearest she has left a seed pod. The seed pods might be deadly, but then again they might also contain the secret of enlightenment. Not that anyone has much time for enlightenment. Fleur, left behind at the crumbling Namaste House, must step into Oleander's role as guru to lost and lonely celebrities. Bryony wants to lose the weight she put on after her botanist parents disappeared, but can't stop drinking. And Charlie struggles to make sense of his life after losing the one woman he could truly love.

A complex and fiercely contemporary tale of inheritance, enlightenment, life, death, desire and family trees, The Seed Collectors is the most important novel yet from one of the world's most daring and brilliant writers. As Henry James said of George Elliot's Middlemarch, The Seed Collectors is a 'treasurehouse of detail' revealing all that it means to be connected, to be part of a society, to be part of the universe and to be human.

What did I think?

I didn’t really enjoy this.  I found it terribly confusing at first as there seemed to be so many names thrown in at once.  By the time I got to know who the characters were I had pretty much lost interest.

I enjoyed the chapter that described Bryony’s shopping trip in Selfridges.  It very cleverly described the thought processes of an addict, whether it be drugs, alcohol or shopping – just one more designer bag after this one!

The seed pod premise sounded intriguing but the pods were hardly mentioned in the first part of the book.  They do have a huge part to play in the ending but I felt a bit duped into reading a book that I felt was mainly about adultery and incest rather than the clever quirky book I expected.

I received this e-book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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