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Claire Fuller

Autor(a) de Swimming Lessons

8 Works 2,724 Membros 171 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Claire Fuller is the author of Our Endless Numbered Days which won the £10,000 (A$20,438) Desmond Elliott Prize for new fiction. This was her debut novel. (Bowker Author Biography)

Includes the name: Claire Fuller

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Obras por Claire Fuller

Swimming Lessons (2017) 772 exemplares
Our Endless Numbered Days (2015) 769 exemplares
Bitter Orange (2018) 562 exemplares
Unsettled Ground (2021) 473 exemplares
The Memory of Animals (2023) 139 exemplares
Responsible Adult 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



There’s a new virus decimating the world. It’s commonly called the dropsy virus as it causes swelling throughout the body It appears to be incredibly deadly.

But there’s hope – a biotech company has devised a promising vaccine. The only downside is that it hasn’t been tried on humans yet – and with the testing including infection with the virus after vaccination, not many people are volunteering. The reward is huge; the company will pay volunteers an almost unimaginable amount of money.

Neffy, a former marine biologist with a special interest in octopuses is disgraced and deeply in debt, so she volunteers. The vaccine makes her sick; the virus challenge makes her even sicker. But when she slowly comes back to consciousness, a person provides her with food and drink. She is not alone in the world.

When she has fully recovered, Neffy is told that the vaccine trial was stopped due to the bad reaction she had. She is the only one of the volunteers that completed the trial and now probably immune to the virus. But while she was ill, the virus mutated again to an even more horrific version affecting the brain. Earth’s population seems to have succumbed. Besides Neffy, there are four other people confined within the research center who didn’t receive the vaccine. All the staff fled when the virus became really bad. There is a limited amount of food and a generator within the center that continues to work.

One of the volunteers is there because he needed money to rework his spectacular invention that can take people back inside their memories. It’s not time travel - but it is a way to revisit people and events in your memory. It only works for certain individuals and it is not reliable as to exactly what memory you will revisit. It works for Neffy and the machine’s inventor; the downside is that is highly addictive to spend time with those one has lost.

In the beginning of the end, gangs robbed, raped and pillaged and packs of roaming dogs attacked victims and tore up bodies. The four non-vaccinated volunteers witnessed these events from the windows of the secure center and are terrified to go out although now it seems deadly quiet on the street. As food runs low, they pressure Neffy to go outside to forage. The generator fails. Although there is viral protective gear within the center, no one volunteers to accompany Neffy.

Even as secrets within the center are revealed it’s clear they can no longer stay.

Apparently the author started writing this before Covid struck. Many of the scenarios such as passengers not being allowed to disembark from a airplane will bring up memories of our own pandemic.
… (mais)
streamsong | 7 outras críticas | Mar 1, 2024 |
It was a really good book, and I enjoyed the structure of the story with its two time periods and one extra time period nested inside one of them; it was a treat to read.

I did feel a mix of sadness and frustration as the mom ended up living the exact life that she never wanted, just basically checking everything off the list one by one. And the frustration came in because it's not like she actively chose any of those things, she just failed to make a decision and let herself be carried along with things - which is in itself a decision process, but a piss-poor one to live your life by.… (mais)
blueskygreentrees | 52 outras críticas | Jan 18, 2024 |
Neffy is a marine biologist with a particular fondness for octopi. She has recently lost her job, however, and is in bad financial shape. In order to earn some money, she volunteers for a clinical trial for a vaccine for a new virus sweeping the world, despite the fact that her mother and her boyfriend Justin (who is also her stepbrother) both strongly urge her not to do so.

As the novel opens, she enters the hospital where the trial is taking place and is placed into isolation. Shortly after she is purposely infected with the virus, and given the vaccine, she becomes very ill. She is delirious and out of it for an unknown period of time. When she recovers, she discovers a world that has been drastically transformed--the outside world has been decimated. She meets the other volunteers for the vaccine trial, Leon, Rachel, Piper, and Yahiko, but discovers that none of them had been given the vaccine before the staff abandoned them and the world changed. The other volunteers believe that Neffy must be immune to the virus, and should be sent out to explore the world and to look for food.

Interspersed with the ongoing pandemic tale, Neffy revisits her past, with particular emphasis on her childhood in Greece with her father, as well as her more recent past with her boyfriend. She's distrustful of the other volunteers, and feels something may have happened while she was out of it that they are keeping from her.

The book kept me interested and kept me reading, but there was nothing special about it. I loved the previous book I read by this author, Unsettled Ground, which featured unique and complex characters who always kept me guessing. Here, the characters seem to be pretty standard twenty-somethings, not stereotypes or caricatures exactly, but not very interesting or surprising. So I found this a pretty run of the mill book.

2 1/2 stars
… (mais)
arubabookwoman | 7 outras críticas | Nov 21, 2023 |
Apocalyptic pandemic novel, reportedly started before COVID. The last known humans on earth are locked up in a London hospital, during a vaccine trial. Some things we think we know we find out we don't. The lone vaccinated survivor navigates the cliques that formed while she was recovering from the bug.

Fine novel, I was interested to see the finish, which of course disappointed. Bleak subject, after all.
kcshankd | 7 outras críticas | Nov 18, 2023 |



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