Genus by Jonathan Trigell seemed a natural next book after Inferno, even though Trigell’s writing is in a completely different league but both look, at least in part, at the effect genetic alteration would have on society. Whereas Inferno was more about overpopulation and the transhumanist approach, Genus looks more at genetic alteration as an extension almost of cosmetic surgery. It is the not too distant future and the beautiful roam the Earth, which is not so good if you’re one of the few unaltered left. The unaltered congregate in the Kross (Kings Cross) and there’s a murderer on the loose.
Featuring a relatively large cast of characters; there’s a dwarf, a blinded soldier, a policeman with the best genes on the force, a family of identical gangsters, amongst others, Genus is an incredibly depressing book. Whereas Inferno was, well Dan Brown, Genus seems a lot more possible. A direct allegory towards today’s society and how we treat those who are ‘other’, you can easily see the future playing out like this.
I found Genus to be an evocatively written, in places very graphic (there were a few places were my stomach lurched) book, however there were lots of places were the text just seemed to be there just because it was so literary and it didn’t advance the storyline or how you felt about the characters, however I should say I’m not a massive fan of literary fiction and it wasn’t what I was expecting from the book blurb, so I’m just going to give this one *** (out of 5), in the hands of someone who appreciates literary fiction a bit more than I do, I suspect it’d rate higher.