BOOK REVIEW – Bête by Adam Roberts

Imagine, if every time an animal was to be killed it could talk back to you…intelligently…with the mind and ability to reason with you. Just imagine that for a second.

This is the exact opening of this book, a man is about to kill a cow but instead of what would usually happen the cow decides to speak up in an attempt to discuss life and death and his right to continue to live. However, the ‘killer’ begins to think that be may be about to commit murder, but that doesn’t stop him…he kills anyway!

This all started when an animal rights movement injected animals with AI with the sole aim of giving animals the same quality of life as humans, with the same choices and freedom. That’s all good and well but where does that leave this new breed of animal…are they actually autonomous or and they machines?

As a reflection on the growing concern that we have for the welfare of animals and the increased pressure on natural resources, Bête provides us with a fictionalised account of what would happen if animals could answer back and be accountable for their own future.

When I started reading this I suspected that the novelty of talking animals would be the basis of the whole book and there would be little substance thereafter but I was completely wrong. Bête is a fantastic work of fiction that is funny, insightful and more importantly…important! Focusing on real life issues that we face today, this is a work of genius that I thoroughly enjoyed.

From the award winning author of Jack Glass, this is certainly worth a good read and is something different from the normal realms of fiction. if you’re looking for a book that you’ll both enjoy and that will make you think then this is for you.

Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Gollancz
ISBN: 9780575127685

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