Review: The Miracle Inspector by Helen Smith
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Author: Helen Smith
Title: The Miracle Inspector
Publisher: Tyger Books
Publication Date: September 4,2012
Copy Provided By: Author
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A darkly comic literary novel set in the near future. England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theatres and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home. A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London - with disastrous consequences.
The Miracle Inspector can only be described as a very British Dystopian. I imagined the lovely Helen Mirren narrating this in my head. Once I switched from my normal internal monologue to that with her narrating The Miracle Inspector transformed into quite an enjoyable read. Of course that is not to say that this book didn't have some hiccups along the way.
To me, The Miracle Inspector was part V for Vendetta part Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (minus the alien aspect). The Miracle Inspector's Dystopian elements were terrifying yet it had whimsy and humor about it. I found this mix to be odd and unsettling at times. It's really hard describing in detail without giving away to much of the premise.
On the other hand,The Miracle Inspector is so far left field of what I expected it to be that I'm not even sure how to write a proper review of it. Was the book good? Sure, the writing was lovely and I found the characters to be quite charming. However, the plot and all of the rules felt beyond excessive, downright crazy even. I'm all for Dystopians that push the barriers of society but the Miracle Inspector didn't just push its citizens it shoved them over the cliff. Then, when they hit bottom they made them get up and walk back up the cliff only to be pushed off again. Yes it was that bizarre. I think the Author pulled it off but then again with the way I'm struggling writing this maybe it wasn't as successful as originally assumed.
Overall, I'm really not sure how I feel about The Miracle Inspector. If it wasn't for the writing and of course imagining Helen Mirren narrating in my head, I don't know how enjoyable it would of been. I am not even sure who I'd recommend this one to or if I'd recommend it at all it was just so bizarre. I mean hell, I can barely even comprehend what I read myself as you can clearly see. Therefore, I am going to list this one as a read at your own risk. I won't dissuade you from doing so because some elements were worthwhile but I won't encourage you either. Think of me as Switzerland on this one. In the end, I will be rating The Miracle Inspector by Helen Smith ★★★.