The Future is a primarily science fiction dystopian, as a group of billionaires and those closest to them navigate (you guessed it) a future where society has collapsed. As we start the book, we meet our three billionaires who control almost all of technology, and who have utilized all of their resources, money, and connections to ensure their survival in the event of an apocalypse.
While a bit slow at first, this is such a fascinating read. I have a love-hate relationship with books that make me feel a bit on the dumb side, and Alderman’s writing certainly does that but in a good way. It was difficult for me to grasp on to the story initially, as I felt we bounced around from character to character quickly, and it wasn’t immediately apparent to me how they’d all be connected. We also bounce between the present and memories which paired with seemingly random chapters titles made it hard to follow the trajectory of the story. Once I tuned into how everyone related to each other, I felt more confident in the storyline. Alderman also adds in quite a bit of technology, biblical references, and there is also a Reddit type thread that appears within the story. These things certainly add an extra level of knowledge to the story but there were quite a few things/people/stories I wasn’t familiar with and of course ended up going down multiple Google rabbit hole. Because of this, the format changes interrupted my pacing (which is a me problem) and made the story seem slower than it was.
Outside of the structure of the books – the story itself and plot is completely compelling. There is so much talk nowadays about the end of the world, climate change, and technology taking over and Alderman has painted a very interesting premise of what our world could look like. She also takes this theme and gives us a glimpse on how we could potentially change it, and how we only need to look at the problem in a different light. I don’t want to get too in-depth on the plot, as I don’t want to spoil anything. But going in with an open mind will you wonders as Alderman does get philosophical on us.
Alderman has given us a wonderfully constructed and complex story about survival. The web Alderman weaves of humanities history to our potential future is compelling to say the least, and she brings up quite a few good points around how we evolved from the hunters and gatherers. I would have liked to learn about a few of our minor characters more, but ultimately this was a thought-provoking story.
The Future is out now. Huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof.books.