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realjimbob

REALJimBob

Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

I'm Starved For You

I'm Starved For You - Margaret Atwood Short stories are always at risk of sacrificing characterisation and actual story in order to meet the needs of the format, and to explain the idea within the word count allowed. Unfortunately, as is often the case, this seems to have happened here too.

Which is a shame, as the premise of the story is very well thought out. As populations increase and available work and housing decreases why not split the population in two and house one half of the population while employing them to guard the other half in prison. Then at the end of the month, everybody swaps. It sounds perfect, but there are always going to be flaws in such a system which Atwood explains quite well, leading up to the biggest problem when people from one half of the society start to try to interact with the other, with a twist at the end providing surprising and possibly unfortunate consequences for at least one of those concerned...

These short stories are apparently designed to be read in a single sitting, which I didn't realise until I'd finished the book on the second day. But, having started it before bed one evening, I read it as fast as I could.