LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING, by the British philosopher Stephen Grant, is a beautiful book, a fast-moving but thoughtful and thought-provoking read. Imprisoned for his writings, the poet Gabriel Dorfman is allowed out on a sort of work-release program, and becomes the chauffeur to an influential party boss on his wealthy estate. The Britain of this story has become a fascist totalitarian state, with all of the hard-line and predictable but nuanced issues you'd expect, presented in lyrical but simple prose. Robot armies and microchipped prisoners. Thugs who "keep the peace". Desperate members of the resistance. And the secret lives of those in power. Gabe is swept up in a whirlwind of competing interests, but finds himself torn between loyalty to the past and his principles, and a new love that satisfies not only his body, but his mind. Through it all, the goal is to just to stay alive - or is it? I don't want to give anything away, but the skill with which the author handles the knife's edge upon which his characters walk is quite breathtaking. A deeply satisfying read that has continued in my mind since I read it. Highly recommended.
Originally posted at Goodreads.