Eleanor Merritt, a do-gooding American family-planning worker, was drawn to Kenya to improve the lot of the poor. Unnervingly, she finds herself falling in love with the beguiling Calvin Piper despite, or perhaps because of, his misanthropic theories about population control and the future of the human race. Surely, Calvin whispers seductively in Eleanor’s ear, if the poor are a responsibility they are also an imposition.
Set against the vivid backdrop of shambolic modern-day Africa – a continent now primarily populated with wildlife of the two-legged sort – Lionel Shriver’s Game Control is a wry, grimly comic tale of bad ideas and good intentions. With a deft, droll touch, Shriver highlights the hypocrisy of lofty intellectuals who would “save” humanity but who don’t like people.
“Shriver steers her plot through some truly outrageous arguments. But her work is all the more valuable for its flagrant defiance of political correctness...The controversy that consumes [the story] is compelling.” – The Times (London)
“A sardonic, sexy, salutary novel about, of all things, population control.” – New Scientist