New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Reviews > Book reviews >

WHATEVER you think of Beyond Reach? by John Madeley (Longstone Books, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-9554373-7-3), you have to ask why it has been written. This is because the author is better known for articles and books about poverty and development issues.

Is this an attempt at a serious campaign book disguised as a novel and aimed at reaching those who will never read the author’s obviously worthy books?

This first and maybe only novel features characters obsessed with poverty and development issues. There is a top civil servant who dis­guises herself when off duty, and a Christian immigrant concerned about poverty in Britain.

The story is set entirely during 2005, when there was a series of campaigns which led to huge demonstrations out­side the G8 summit in Scotland.

The leading character is a nurse, Sara, who suddenly takes up cam­paigning. She is married to a man obsessed with ball bearings, which leaves his wife free to attempt an affair with the curate, who has an improbable list of pre-ordination girlfriends.

When arrested, the assistant priest is fortunate to be confronted by a young police constable who quotes from choral matins rather than charging him.

Sometimes its feels that the work is being padded out with lists or chunks of key speeches delivered by real people. I suspect that Sara’s re­ports to her local paper reflect John Madeley’s views at the time of the great events of 2005.

Most satisfying is the thorough research, which makes the descrip­tions of demonstrations and other events seem credible.

Leigh Hatts is editor of In SE1, a South Bank arts magazine.

Order this book through CT Bookshop

Job of the week

University Chaplain

South West

University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth Plymouth, Britain's Ocean City University Chaplain With its 175 year heritage, outstanding reputation for teaching in disti ncti ve subjectarea...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

A lantern unto their feet

A lantern unto their feet

The words and, sometimes, the very presence of the Bible were a source of comfort and inspiration during the First World War  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Is outing counter-productive?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Why the worry about ministering together?

Some clergy are too fearful of collaborative ways of working, says Brian Cranwell   Subscribe to read more

Thu 31 Jul 14 @ 22:22
RT @RevRichardColesDo you know, I was the ONLY person waiting for a takeaway in the Nazreen Tandoori tonight reading the Church Times #lastofthemohicans

Thu 31 Jul 14 @ 16:35
RT @ABCReligion"A gift snatched away": stunning tribute to Rev. Dr John Hughes, by John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock http://t.co/Q1hI74N0eN @churchtimes