This strange and unsettling tale of three giants, trapped on the spaceship Audition, is deeply thought-provoking and oddly compelling. Part of this comes from the stream of consciousness narrative that Alba, Stanley and Drew – the novel’s oversized, ostracised trio – are required to provide. Audition, the spaceship that was sold to them as their redemption but increasingly appears to be their death sentence, is convincingly powered by their dialogue. To heighten this necessity, Adam strips all unnecessary description away and leaves the reader with the just the spoken words, giving Audition the unnerving feeling of a script devoid of stage directions.
But the real interest comes when the giants start to reveal their days before the spaceship when, schooled by ‘normal size’ people, they were taught to speak in the storytime style that makes plot out of memory and gives them enough narrative material to keep talking. In these recollections, we see the fear of the other; the pity and the gratitude of normal people as they check themselves for gigantism and decide what to do with the potentially dangerous and impossibly large problem of housing these strange beings. The spaceship Audition is the Bibby Stockholm of the future and, as ever with good sci-fi, we are all complicit in its creation.
Audition, Pip Adam (Peninsula)
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words JOHN-PAUL DAVIES