Zooloo's Book Tours - A Kinder City by Peter Taylor - Goody
Another book tour for you. I am pleased to be joining Zooloo's Book Tours in order to discuss Peter Taylor - Goody's new book, A Kinder City.
As usual, Zooloo's book Tours has given me a book that expands my perspective, and I enjoyed this tale. So, without much further ado let's crack on!
A Kinder City by Peter Taylor – Gooby
Publication Day : 30th March 2022 by Matador Books
Page Count : 284 pages
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The City is governed by the grim law of profit and loss. No exceptions, no place for compassion, pleasure, the warmth of friendship or the ardour of love. David, an Enforcer committed to the Law, meets Sarah, a villager from outside, and begins to understand that a different, more joyful, life is possible.
A Kinder City tells the story of their tangled relationship and of how they fall in love, and of their struggle against Franklin, the richest man in Market World. If the only law is the market, why not sell everything – and that includes the air we breathe, the land we stand on, the water we drink? No exceptions. His giant factories spew forth the road beasts – the huge machines that devastate the lands beyond the City in pursuit of yet more wealth. Not content with cloning animals, he traps horses in exo-skeletons and works them to death. Torn between her growing passion for David and her revulsion at the City that he is pledged to protect, Sarah turns her back on him.
In despair, he confronts one of the convoys supplying Franklin’s mills and releases the horses trapped within the giant trucks. Pursued by terrifying security guards they escape to the Broken Lands and witness at first hand the desolation that results from ruthless strip-mining and industrial farming driven purely by greed, and the misery of the remaining villagers. In their struggle to survive and return to the City they discover the power of their love for each other. Sarah challenges Franklin to his face and, helped by David, sparks off rebellion among the poor of the City. Together they defeat Franklin. He must learn what it means to be destitute and alone in Market World. The possibility of building a kinder City lies within their grasp
David an enforcer for Market World meets a villager called Sarah, condemned for breaking the rules of Market World in that she was flagrantly giving a gift of apples to someone. She is subsequently arrested and her horse Juno impounded.
For some inexplicable reason, David finds himself thinking of Sarah and when she is put on trial, he in turn breaks the rules and performs an altruistic act by paying the fine that she accrues as a result of her misdemeanour.
Thus begins David’s adventure as he follows Sarah to her home in the Villages.
Peter Taylor – Goody’s A Kinder City is an unconventionally told tale of greed and the effects of capitalism.
Initially, the first part of the book resembles a picaresque novel as David moves through the world as he follows Sarah and her horse Juno through the various districts of Market world. We see the affluence of the city, and then move to the poorer, industrial parts of Market World which is governed by the asset obsessed Franklin, who has a vision of spreading his influence throughout the whole of Market World and then we finally end up in the agrarian world of the Villages, on which Franklin basically wants to impose his idea of progress.
This imposes a conflict on the character of David, who throughout the book questions the ideals of Market World and its effect on the people and the environment of Market World.
It is at this point that the book morphs into a kind of allegorical tale of the effects of capitalism and colonialism upon the environment and its effects upon the world in general.
As I said, I found that it was an unconventionally told tale. In some places, it puts me in mind of a Swiftian allegory. However, in others, it reminds me of G. K. Chesterton, particularly when we get to the industrialised, nightmarish vision that Franklin has for the world.
I particularly found David’s transformation from blind follower of Market World laws and ideals to a flagrant activist against Franklin’s vision of the future intriguing. And I think that this is what the tale is about. We get to see David’s journey throughout the book, his initial conflict that not everything is as it should be, to finding his own voice and the cause he wants to fight for.
David and Sarah are both interesting characters, with Sarah being the catalyst to changing the internal world view that David holds dear and subsequently forces him to question and changes these ideals to make him a more interesting individual. In addition to this the narrative moves the plot along at a pace that keeps the reader interested. The thriller element of the book works well and there is plenty of action in the story to maintain the pace of the book.
A Kinder City is an interesting story that raises some pertinent questions about the effects of a society motivated by profit, has on its people and its environment.
About Peter Taylor-Gooby
Peter Taylor-Gooby is a sociologist. He has published widely and made many TV and radio appearances. His novels deal with issues that matter – love, money, power and environmental disaster. He has worked on adventure playgrounds, in a social security office and as a teacher. He loves walking, cycling, writing and talking to his children