Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Prisoner's Dilemma

I picked this up a year ago but just had it sitting there. It wasn't until I saw the awful American remake that I got inspired to read The Prisoner's Dilemma by Jonathan Blum and Rupert Booth.

And it's a damn fine read! Number 6 finds Number 18 in a rather unfortunate situation, and ends up pairing up with her in an effort to help her, and then help himself. But he's not the only one using her, and of course there's the continual problem of: is he himself being used?

The best part of this book is Number 6 himself, and he is very well written. The authors capture McGoohan's mannerisms perfectly, with clipped speech and flicking fingers. The Village is also captured properly, coming across confining and all consuming. (They try a few tricks to make Rover credible, but the memory of the floppy balloon doesn't quite lend itself to a real threat.)

Interestingly, the entire book is written in the present tense. That takes a little getting used to, but keeps it fresh. And, of course, given that this is print, the Village is more capable than it ever was on screen. And there are decades of changes to draw on, so we get a more advanced Village as well. Creates an interesting atmosphere.

Definitely a recommended read, although I now want to read more, but can't get them!


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