Doggerland by Ben Smith

Published May 15, 2021

Doggerland by Ben Smith

Book info

  • Title Doggerland
  • Author Ben Smith
  • Year 2019
  • Genre Science Fiction

In the North Sea, far from what remains of the coastline, a wind farm stretches for thousands of acres. The Boy, who is no longer really a boy, and the Old Man, whose age is unguessable, are charged with its maintenance. They carry out their never-ending work, scoured by wind and salt, as the waves roll, dragging strange shoals of flotsam through the turbine fields. Land is only a memory. So too is the Boy’s father, who worked on the turbines before him, and disappeared. The boy has been sent by the Company to take his place, but the question of where he went and why is one for which the Old Man will give no answer. As his companion dredges the sea for lost things, the Boy sifts for the truth of his missing father. Until one day, from the limitless water, a plan for escape emerges…


This book has me a bit puzzled. It’s beautifully written, brings you right into the environment so that you can almost taste the sea salt and smell the rusting metal. It flows nicely, I didn’t want to put it down. But ultimately, there didn’t seem to be a point to it. It was a glimpse of a life in a potential near-future, and there was a hint of a story, a mystery, more that we needed to know.

But we didn’t really get to know it. If a story is beginning, middle and end, this feels like just having the middle bit with the rest of the book torn out.

Rating: 3 / 5

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