0.4 by Mike Lancaster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's a brave new world.
'My name is Kyle Straker. And I don't exist anymore.'
So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded onto old audiotapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax, but perhaps they contain the history of a past world....If what the tapes say is true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie.
And if everything we know is a lie, does that mean that we are, too?
I absolutely loved the format of this book, told as transcripts from old cassette tapes, interspersed with notes about phrases or words in Kyle's narrative. The story is based in the distant future, when mankind is completely changed, but Kyle's recorded story tells what happened to him in the early 21st century. It is hilarious to see a note on the narrative in very formal tones speculating through quotes from serious academic texts on what a "teletubby" might be, or "reality TV". The chapters in the book are set out as "tape 1, side 1" etc, but this works so well, and cleverly increases the excitement when the next vital tense part of the story is cut off at the end of a tape.
Kyle is a teenage resident of a small village, where, along with his friend Lilly and two other adult members of the community, a very strange event takes place, setting off a string of weird happenings. They become a minority figure- the 0.4, and must leave everything they know behind. I really can't say more without spoilers!
I really enjoyed this book and was fascinated by the chilling idea of it. Although the events that Kyle is recalling are revealed gradually it is at just the right pace to keep you guessing and intrigued but are no point are you left wondering what is going on. This is a brilliant story, a very tense and creepy tale that will leave you wondering what is real!
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