Entangled (book, Graham Hancock, 2010)
A review from SFX 195.
Graham Hancock/Century/ 435 pages/£20.00 (HB)
THREE AND A HALF STARS
The world needs people like Graham Hancock. Although much of what he says is sketchy (perhaps not what he says – there’s nothing ridiculous in his idea of a civilisation drowned at the end of the ice age – just the way he presents it), he isn’t frightened to challenge scientific orthodoxy. Consensus ideas needs challenging to stay vital, and well, if they become an orthodoxy, it isn’t science any more is it?
Entangled, his first novel, is a fantasy drawn from his various researches into non-mainstream topics, here the access of higher spiritual realms by getting all drugged up. It’s fertile ground, and is disappointingly untended by others. Hancock tells of a demon, Sulpa, who, simultaneously in the distant past and the now, will turn Earth into a hellworld and spread his evil far through Hancock’s new-age multiverse. On hand to stop him, a blue-skinned goddess and two girls from opposite ends of history.
Hancock’s not the most skilled stylist. The prose is flabby and unintentionally reads like a YA novel, a style that jars with the numerous penis amputations and child murders, but those years of journalism and non-fiction have not gone to waste, and it moves briskly. The story comes alive when presenting Hancock’s research, his own experiences or his cosmology. Otherwise the story lacks a certain verisimilitude, his Stone Age feeling particularly ‘wrong’ (although how would we know?), and the characters are only just the right side of workable. But it does work. We should point out that this is not a book with an agenda, but a genuine entertainment. And good fun it is too. If he could just manage to breathe a more independence into his creations, it’d be even better.
Did you know?
Hancock was an advocate of the theory of crustal displacement, where the Earth’s skin slips, but seems to have drawn away from it now.