Hothouse – Brian Aldiss

I tried as hard with this but in the end abandoned it three-quarters of the way through. The hothouse world was interesting, weird and a bit of a fever dream, but the story weak. The aimless rambling of the characters made for an aimless, rambling book, and it is also difficult to care about characters when they range from stupid to plain ridiculous, like the ‘tummy-belly men’. There was also a bit too much of the non-invisible author obviously searching to fill up pages with the next sparkly thing, then abandoning it. It all felt contrived and ‘arty’, as if asking me to acknowledge the statements and observations being made as clever, or amusing, and they weren’t. I went from enjoyment at the start through to boredom then irritation reading this. Very little in the way of remembered reading pleasure here.

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