The Girl with All the Gifts
By M.R. Carey (read by Finty Williams)
Hachette Audio (audiobook)
Now a major movie, The Girl with All the Gifts puts a Frankensteinish twist on the usual crime-oriented “Girl” books ( Dragon Tattoo , On a Train, Gone, and so on). We begin in familiar “mankind-wiped-out-by-a-pandemic” territory. The bug in question is a variant of an actual fungus that makes ants stick themselves to leaves until death. Upgrade ants to flesh-eating humans, et voila. These zombies are “Hungries” (love that), who chase un-undead “Junkers”. A scientist is seeking a cure by investigating child “Hungries” who seem normal except for their tendency to snack on human brains. Finty Williams’ decision to read slowly and sombrely suits a novel that prioritises mood, ideas and character over crude thrills and chills.