Review | 2032 | AS Anand

I read a couple of flash fiction collections by AS Anand a while ago and remembered I'd downloaded his novel 2032 and not got round to reading it. It is listed on Amazon as 2032 - An Experimental Post-Apocalyptic Novel and the contents page shows that the work is structured around a series of dates in 2032.

It reads more like a very large flash fiction collection than a conventional novel. There are some obvious links between some of the items; some other items have a more tangential link to the main theme and some of them seem disparate and isolated. I found 2032 difficult to get into and in Part I didn't recognise the author I had admired so much in the previous collections. By Part II, either I was becoming accustomed to the format or the author had taken more control of his writing because I thought the pieces were much better. There was some sharp, precise writing demonstrating imagination and originality and this continued throughout the remainder of the novel.

A dystopian novel is not usually to my taste apart from the classics - 1984 and Brave New World - but as I was interested in the writer's style I persevered with the content. The world of global domination, Sectors, insurgents and presidential excess develops intermittently through the piece and I found myself being gradually drawn into it.

I really enjoyed reading some of the more peripheral sections of which two bore an uncanny resemblance to The Guardian Book Blog on a day when the regulars have over-dosed on mutual aggrandising.

Some of the writing was even better than the pieces I'd enjoyed in the previous collections. There is a variety of writing styles of which some works better than others. The last entry is amazing - if it's real it is clever and prophetic. Overall if you want to try something different, then 2032 is well worth a look.