Friday, 30 October 2015

Book review: NOW and the Weltanschauung of Government Men, by Gary J Davies

Mr Davies seems more on his home ground with this non-fiction work than with his novels, and the writing is smoother and more competent. No doubt we all work best with our familiar materials. It's still in dire need of proofreading though. Davies acknowledges his devil-may-care attitude to the quality of his work in the work itself, but to acknowledge a problem is not to alleviate it. Really, not even a little bit. It only serves to infuriate the reader.

There were some fascinating concepts raised in the scientific portion of the book, and although I, with my non-scientist brain, could not follow it all, it seemed to be well argued. Nevertheless, I found the whole project an ill-conceived one for several reasons.

First, although covered by the loose statement of intent to define his Weltanschauung, the combination of discussion of physical theories of the universe with blather about fruit pies and socks was less than enticing. Anyone who liked one part is bound to loathe the other. A third group will loathe both.

Second, although by its very nature the book had to be aimed at the lay person, the earlier portion of it, dealing with quantum mechanics et alia, is above the touch of most lay people.

Third, it is almost impossibly pointless to write learned tomes based on a very second-rate novel that few people have read, or will read. The time would have been better spent editing Government Men into a decent book.

Davies has a fertile imagination, and when he's not being egregiously annoying, an engaging presence. We have already seen in his short fiction that he is capable of writing well. In the instant work, he was playing well below his standard.

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