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Adam Roberts

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Victor Gollancz

Published : 2000

Copyright : Adam Roberts 2000

ISBN-10 : HB 0-575-06896-5
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-575-06896-4

Publisher's Write-Up

Salt is a crystal compound of Sodium and Chlorine; faceted and transparent. Simple and pure. What life could there be without salt? It is known as God's diamond, by which we should be aware of the infinite variability of scale for the divine perspective. Every grain is a landscape, a world.

And us? We are fragile. We dissolve in immensity like salt in water. And after thirty-seven years of travel through the vastness of space we arrived on the planet Salt. And we took Heaven and Hell with us.

Told by two people, Petja and Barlei, Salt is the story of a planetary colonisation that slips into a tragedy of Biblical proportions. The two communities who went to Salt were united by the dream of a new beginning and, isolated in a landscape of cruel majesty, torn apart by ancient enmities.

Salt is a novel of remarkable power, intense beauty and profound insight. In its evocation of an alien world it compares to nothing less than Dune.

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Review by Nigel (301200) Rating (7/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 7/10
This is the author's debut novel, which I picked up from the book club due to the intriguing write up, '…compares to nothing less than Dune.', which is praise indeed.
The title refers to the colonized planet Salt, where vast deserts of Sodium Chloride dominate the surface of this inhospitable world.

The story revolves around two factions of differing political make ups, one autocratic with a strict hierarchy and one anarchic where people are allocated tasks equally based on a computerised rota program. The story is told in narrative form by an influential character from each camp and we see the same events through their eyes and get very different perspectives.

These basic misunderstandings ultimately lead to war, even though the problems are not great and could be solved easily with open minded dialogue (a lesson for us all?).

It is a well told story with a weird undercurrent in the writing that I can't quite explain... you want to shout at the characters to stop being so blinkered and sort themselves out yet it isn't annoying.

A good novel by an author with great potential, prehaps let down by a slightly disappointing ending. I look forward to the next.
Nigel (30th December 2000)

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