At points it is easy to fall into the trap of assuming this is some sort of farce focusing on the role the media and the politicians and the secret service can play. But as things take a more frightening turn the story becomes more horror science fiction and the power of the description makes this really work.
A cock up that must have been a constant feature of a centralised state causes a chain reaction that leads to mayhem. What is added to the mix is an over zealous party member who believes he can use the ray of light to further his own career.
In the end it costs him his wife and his sanity as giant snakes and crocodiles rip through the countryside. In the end with Moscow threatened the end comes for the besieged professor who has seen his dreams of isolated experimenting shattered forever.
This might be a very short book, at just shy of 100 pages, but it is a well weaved story and it really captures your imagination and because of the combination of humour, satire and wicked science fiction this is going to come close to being one of my favourite reads of the year.
A review will follow soon…