Wednesday 1 February 2012

Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson

Pages - 286
Published by Oxford University Press in February 2012

The butterfly was a Purple Hairstreak, a newborn female, still sticky from her chrysalis as she climbed  the oak sapling  and tested the morning air.  It was a chill June start to the day, with the promise of summer head to come, the silver weed  and red campion around her spun with brilliant gossamer, tendrils of dawn mist still woven through the grass. 

Amazon summary
'The Butterfly Effect ': the scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever. When a butterfly startles a young rabbit, and the rabbit makes a horse rear, it starts a chain of events, over the course of one day, that will change people's lives . . . and end people's lives. From a climber on Everest to a boy in Malawi . . . from a commercial pilot to an American psycho . . . the chaos knows no bounds. This heart-stopping adventure by writer, film maker and climber Matt Dickinson will leave readers breathless. It's the book Jack Bauer would have read as a teenager!
Once I realised what this book was about, I was excited! I am absolutely fascinated by the Butterfly Effect, and I can vividly remember reading the short story 'A Sound of Thunder' by Ray Bradbury at secondary school. It is definitely one of those stories that makes you think. 

Matt Dickinson has taken the theory behind the Butterfly Effect and shown how one tiny event where a butterfly startles a young rabbit can set off a chain of events that lead to mortality and chaos. This isn't just confined to the UK, the chain reaction of this one event effects people all over the world, creating a mind boggling and thought provoking thriller. 

The way Matt Dickinson writes, creates the film environment in your own home. His use of language and description portrays a situation that appears to be happening in real time. As you begin reading, you are confused as to why all these snippets of unrelated events are appearing in the book, yet as it progresses you begin to see the fine lines that weave all the seemingly unconnected situations together. I actually felt like a fly on the wall observing all the events as they happened. 

I can definitely see this book being made into a film. It is all there readily prepared for a producer to pick it up and  just add the dialogue.  A tornado of a story that starts out as a gentle breeze!

The book is composed of short one page events and you find yourself so engrossed in the book, that before you know you have read it all in one sitting. 

There were a couple of threads which I couldn't see were related until I actually sat down and thought about it carefully, allowing me to join the dots. 

Next time you step on  a fly or swat a wasp out of the way, you may hesitate and consider what effect, your quick reactions have on the rest of the world!

Thank you to Riot Communications and Oxford University Press for sending me this book to review. 


  1. I love the sound of this, I too can clearly remember reading 'A Sound Of Thunder' at school, I still occasionally find myself coming back to it all these years later.

    1. Isn't that weird. How that story sticks in your mind. I wonder how many other people had to read it.

  2. Ok that just sounds so cool! I wonder how it all works out, all those little things into something big

    1. Just read A Sound of Thunder first to give you a taster. Then this book will make sense.

  3. This sounds pretty awesome! I look forward to checking it out in the future, even though it doesn't sound like something I would normally read. Great review :)

  4. The Butterfly Effect--hmmm--I've heard of it before. This book sounds wonderful!!

  5. Great review Viv, I really enjoyed this one :o) I had never heard of A Sound of Thunder before but it sounds like a story I need to check out!

  6. I love the sound of this one but don't know if it's "me" enough. It might go too far over my head lol


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