Firstly – on investigation, this book is from a story ad lyrics by Neil Peart – there is an accompanying album, or it’s an accompanying book – not sure. I’ve not heard the music although there are lyrics at the back of this book. I’m just reviewing this book based on the story.
So, the story….the main character Owen Hardy, lives in a little village and is fully ready, happy and prepared to take over his fathers apple orchard when he comes of age.
He does however have a tendendy to ‘think big’, and dreams of one day seeing Crown City, the Watchmaker’s capital. the Watchmaker is loved by the people of Owen’s country, think of him as a kind of Wizard of Oz character – ensuring that everything runs like clockwork, the weather, heating, transport, etc, etc. The Watchmaker runs everything to order, everyone is happy, and nobody questions their purpose in life, they’re all safe and protected.
One night, after Owen’s betrothed Lavinia fails to show up for an unplanned sporadic romantic meeting, Owen goes wandering down to the railtracks to watch a scheduled steamliner pass by before he heads back home. The events that follow from this sporadic decision change Owen’s life forever, and he becomes embroiled in a tug of war between the Watchmaker and his nemesis, the Anarchist who disagrees with all that the Watchmaker stands for.
I enjoyed this book, it’s easy reading, and nicely written. Owen is a well rounded character who you can’t help but empathise with. Personally, I am very much a Watchmaker type person – I like order and control. If I was in charge then I would run the country the way that he does, so for me, there were quite a few moral lessons to be learnt from it. It is a classic story of chaos verses order, and the balance that needs to be maintained.
I’m quite interested in the album now, from reading this book. I’ve never come across something like this before…
Thanks to ECW for providing a review copy via NetGalley.