On Thursday 30th April, between 12:00 and 1:00 pm, I’ll be talking live to Dave Miller, host of “Think Out Loud” about Ammonite. TOL are inaugurating their Quarantine Bookclub with Ammonite because, as they put it, it’s relevant to today’s viral situation without being all depressing.
I’m going to be re-reading the novel along with others who’ll be encountering it for the first time. When he interviewed me last week, Dave asked why I would do that. I explained it had been nearly 30 years since I wrote it, and I’m sure there were bits here and there I’d forgotten. I also want to see how it holds up in light of our increased understanding of viruses. And how it feels to read about a post-viral world many generations later, when this planet is only at the beginning of that journey. After the interview, I’ll be answering viewers’ questions live on on-air. So if you’ve always wanted to know something, or maybe just comment on something you did or did not like about the book, here’s your chance.
Meanwhile, if you want to get hold of a copy and read along, Bookshop.org, last time I checked, were temporarily out of stock. Amazon has six left. And I’m sure your friendly local independent not only would love to order a copy of it for you, and ship it immediately, they may even have one or two in stock. I know for example that Phinney Books has at least one that was in their Pandemic Books display just before everything had to close down. Check out Phinney’s updated ordering and shipping info here. And there’s always digital editions from your favourite ebook purveyor. and don’t forget the wonderful audio edition, read by Gabra Zackman, that you can get via Audible, Libro.fm, your local library and others. No excuse not to listen!
3 thoughts on “30 April: AMMONITE radio bookclub”
Ever since my first read of Ammonite, I have always wondered if you had any interest in writing another Jeep story. I may have mentioned this in another post, but I think there are so many interesting directions you could go with a project like this by using themes and plot lines that are timely and relevant to our lives current lives. For example, I think the corporation’s greed will motivate executives and officers to continue looking for ways to exploiting the planet’s natural resources, most likely in ways that could be detrimental to the indigenous people on the planet, including their culture and the planet’s natural environment. There are so many factors, including power, political, corruption and exploitation issues that are similar to both historical and modern-day events that seem to exist whenever you have a powerful nation or corporate entity engaging in extraction economic strategies (i.e. our history of colonialism, corporate and government powers installing oil and gas pipelines on reservations, the history of coal mining in the Appalachian regions, etc.). I think there are rich opportunities for character development and plot twists when describing how different individuals and groups would react to continued interference by the corporation in the lives and cultures of Jeep’s people and tribal groups. Who would actively fight back and why? Who would betray their people for any short-term gains offered by the corporation? Would these people be selfish and evil, or would they appear more sympathetic, serving the corporation out of a misguided desire to placate what they see as an unbeatable foe? Could the story become an epic David vs. Goliath tale of revolution where a small but dedicated group of rebel forces band together to defeat a much more powerful, but corrupt inter-galactic force (i.e. Star Wars, or the Battle of Thermopylae (480 B.C.), where 300 Spartans held off an attack by 150,000 Persians). Will Jeep’s indigenous people find an ingenious way to control or harness a valuable resource(s) that makes it possible for the people to overcome their initial weaknesses and instead, become a force to be reckoned with in their system? (I am thinking of stories like Dune, or the 1967 6-day war where Israel fought to survive against enormous odds and withstood the combined forces of surrounding Arab states.) I will stop there, but you get the idea. I think there is a great potential for continuing to explore the story of the planet Jeep’s and the fascinating world and cultures that you created in Ammonite. I get excited just thinking about all the fascinating new directions this next book could go. I would be more than happy to continue brainstorming more ideas along these lines. I get excited just thinking about all that you could do with this. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this. I very much hope that you will consider telling the story begun in the original book (obviously one of my all-time favorites!).
No. I’ve never been tempted to write a follow-up novel—though I’ve often thought the novel would make a great basis for a TV season, with many different ways to continue the story season by season.
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