Metronome: The 'unputdownable' BBC Two Between the Covers Book Club Pick

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Metronome: The 'unputdownable' BBC Two Between the Covers Book Club Pick

Metronome: The 'unputdownable' BBC Two Between the Covers Book Club Pick

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They have built a life for themselves on the island, planting seeds and farming the land which surrounds the croft they sleep in. While I enjoyed it, I never managed to feel that drawn to the characters, their stilted nature kept them at arm’s length so I couldn’t feel too invested in their future. Their parole is due and they expect the Warden to come and free them, but he doesn't appear and Aina takes matters into her own hands.

Set on a remote island this book plays with the theme of isolation, building a compact world cantered around predominantly two characters. The descriptions of the island were very atmospheric and detailed to the point that I found myself dreaming I was on the island!Dystopias in which the state has seized control of women’s bodies are everywhere, from Sophie Mackintosh’s Blue Ticket to Christina Dalcher’s Vox and Joanne Ramos’s The Farm. There is a clock/timer which dispenses the pills they must take each day and again, there is the image of time ticking, counting down. In his debut novel, Tom Watson seems less interested in the wider political and social reality of his world than in the mundane detail of the characters’ lives and the bleakness of the landscape they inhabit, the emotional standoff that exists between them as a result of the traumatic severing of their previous existence. You can imagine the type of devastation on The Limits, after which everything is off kilter; is this dystopia meeting reality?

As it is, with omniscience at play, Watson uses the idea of funnelling his information from the broadest possible view, zooming down to the specific minutiae – and out again. There are certainly some compelling aspects to this novel in terms of depicting a dystopian future, but there were far too many questions left lingering about how this dystopian future came about. Not dismissing an element of brainwashing, one could argue whether they actually live on an island – after the discovery of ‘a spine.There is the significance of the number twelve, too, the years they serve on the island as punishment. Trying to stay afloat trying to survive, whilst everything you thought to be true seems to be a lie.

This book really emphasises the two types of people - those who accept what is, and those who try to chang their situation. The specific episode discussing the book has not yet aired as of mid-May 2022, (NOTE: These are only available for listening in the United Kingdom) but you can watch for it in the list of Between the Covers episodes here.

It was interesting to find out that their crime was to go against the governments rules over having a baby. At times dystopian, at others speculative fiction with a dollop of suspense thriller, this is an exceptional read. A great concept, well written with a eerie and frightening premise, but overall I felt like there could have been more to this story. Dystopian, suspenseful and atmospheric, the premise of this novel is that a married couple are coming to the end of their 12 year incarceration on a remote (fictional) island. They say if you had a powerful enough microphone you could hear conversations that took place years ago.

As she comes to grips with the decisions that haunt her past, she realises her biggest choice is yet to come.Me-tro-nome, the use of it in musical terms (Aina is a pianist with a mathematical brain, cunning and in control of her own life) and in timekeeping. As a condition of their stay, they must take a pill that is dispensed every 8 hours or they die, however their date of parole is coming up and they will soon be free – or will they? Sure enough it is a sheep counting system that is probably Celtic in original and used in the north of Britain in the main.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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