All the time I have been reading this I have had a nagging feeling of recognition to my ongoing reaction, as if there were something rotten stuck in my mouth. I have finally pinned it down. Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Remember poor Gregor, wakes up one morning to discover he has turned into a cockroach? I remember reading that and trying to make sense of the surreal situations, trying to translate the gorgeous descriptions into something sane, trying to hold my revulsion in check and this is what happened to me with Scorch Atlas. Consider this excerpt: ‘Where in those last days I woke up choking on grasshoppers, the ceiling cracking. Water gushing from my ears. Snails in my breakfast. Sores in between my toes.’.
Does this book have a theme? I think it does and I think the theme is the resurrection of hope after the vilest tribulations imaginable.