Greenbelt Big Read 2012
We’re pleased to announce the Greenbelt Big Read book for 2012 – Dark Eden by Chris Beckett.
Each year, the Greenbelt literature team come together to choose a book that will be discussed at sessions at the festival, and invite Greenbelt festivalgoers to read along and participate.
Here’s Literature team member Rebecca Foster with more on the book:
Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden is page-turning science fiction with deep theological implications. Six generations ago a pair of astronauts landed on the planet Eden and became matriarch and patriarch of a new race of eerily primitive humans. A young leader rises up within the group, determined to free his people from their limited worldview by demythologizing their foundational story. Through events that mirror many of the accounts in Genesis and Exodus, Beckett provides an intriguing counterpoint to the ways Jews and Christians relate to the biblical narrative. Whilst echoing environmental dystopias such as Brian Aldiss’ Hothouse or J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World, Dark Eden is surprisingly thought-provoking on the subject of human knowledge and meaning. It is a perverse parable in which evolution works in reverse and the boundaries between Earth and Paradise are unclear. ‘I hate Eden, this miserable dark place we’re all trapped in for bloody ever,’ one character complains. ‘We shouldn’t be here, that’s the real problem: it wasn’t the world we were made for. We were meant to live in light.’ Are the residents of Eden the innocent beneficiaries of a prelapsarian society, or are they deluded nomads? Is Earth truly the perfect homeland they envision, or do they possess Paradise already?
The book is available to buy now from Church House Bookshop. We can’t wait to discuss this fascinating world with you!