Book Review: Robert Harris ~ The Second Sleep (2019)

Harris leaves me gasping. He’s so prolific and intelligent that it’s almost intimidating. The Cicero trilogy was a triumph on which his entire reputation could have stood but, of course, there’s more, much more.

The Second Sleep is a reverse scifi novel. Harris postulates a society, our society, which has collapsed because of its reliance on IT and Artificial Intelligence. He remarks that the UK has a population ten times larger than it can actually feed. Losing our connexion with the land has left us ‘six meals away from starvation’ so when a catastrophic event happens and we have to live off the land our version of civilised life disappears.

Astonishingly the replacement society is Medieval Britain. A country that is agricultural and ruled by priests. When a priest in a remote parish dies an emergency priest uncovers heresy. The heresy being knowledge of the scientific life prior to the catastrophic event.

Harris has written an ‘intelligent thriller’ as the blurb on the cover says quite truthfully. Enjoy and ponder on the truths that Harris offers. Wonderfully readable as always.

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