As a 10-year-old growing up in Stockport, it was easy to identify with the protagonist of Robert Swindells’ Brother in the Land: the young Danny Lodge, who lived in the fictional northern town of Skipley. Written in 1984, the year of my birth, the book can hardly be divorced from the terrors of a renewed cold war, just a few years after Ronald Reagan had assumed the US presidency. Threads, a TV drama about Sheffield in the aftermath of nuclear armageddon – which people found so unbearably bleak that it wasn’t shown again for two decades – was broadcast by the BBC in the same year as Brother in the Land’s publication, and the book promotes a similar doom-laden message. But even though I read the book at a time when anxiety over the bomb was supposedly at a low ebb in the post-Berlin Wall era, this tale of nuclear catastrophe lost none of its impact, and its unsettling relevance is even greater today. This story, aimed at teenagers, has one clear purpose: forget any illusions you may have that a nuclear exchange will wipe out a decent chunk of your neighbours, but humanity will pull itself together in the… Read full this story
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Brother in the Land told me (at 10) why I wouldn’t survive nuclear war have 303 words, post on www.theguardian.com at August 7, 2014. This is cached page on wBlogs. If you want remove this page, please contact us.