"One" by Conrad Williams has a post-apocalyptic (due to gamma ray bursts) England as its backdrop. It is the story of a father (our protagonist, Richard Jane) who has survived the cataclysm in the opening chapter for being 600 feet deep in the ocean, a diver repairing pipes on an offshore oil platform. The opening chapter is brilliantly written. While I was reading it, I wondered why I haven't heard about this book being one of the best of the decade in the sub-genre alongside "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, "Oryx & Crake" by Margaret Atwood amongst others. But as I read further, it dawned on me that the reason behind it was that the first few chapters were the only upside of the book.
We follow Richard Jane who is on the quest to find and reunite with his son Stanley, in London, who Richard hoped against hope might have somehow survived the catastrophe. The book is mainly divided into two parts. The second part is 10 years further into the future than the first one and the most unbearable in my opinion. And Richard having frequent hallucinations (more frequently in the second part)about his son doesn't help much. Oh, and there is a tiger, in London, on the streets.
On the upside, the writing is very good although it might cure insomnia because of the lack of plot especially after the first part. And yeah, the book cover looks good too.