Buy The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall from Amazon’s Fiction Books Store. Everyday low prices on a huge range of new releases and classic fiction. Winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize England is in a state of environmental and economic crisis. Under the repressive regime of The Authority, citizens have . The Carhullan Army, By Sarah Hall. Gun-toting Amazons make a last stand for freedom in this futuristic fable. Reviewed by Rachel Hore.

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As she trudges up the fells in the rain, Hall offers a portrait of the landscape of her birth.

Daughters of the North

Just as she gives her central character no name, so Hall allows the reader no chance to identify with her emotionally. She seems to be in prison and the story seems to carhyllan her confession. While I can enjoy speculation that corrupted data is meant to hint at subsequent events leading to a compromised Authority, in the end this tactic, even if this is what was intended, isn’t deployed especially well.

The world-building is subtle and brutal by turns, with human-nature plot twists worthy of Moore or Huxley, but Hall grounds her political narrative in a hyper-realistic near future. She tells of running away, trying to find a group she’d known about in the past, where she hopes she can find a more humane place to live.

She was angry at him for not maintaining the revolutionary political ideals that he held as cqrhullan college student – basically, for growing up. Now I am happy to see that Sarah Hall belongs to the same school of writers who focus on sculpting a good plot. This is a little book barely pages that packs a big punch.


Dystopian fiction is not a genre I generally gravitate towards, but Sarah Hall is such a wonderful writer that I found myself enthralled by this tale of a splinter group of women varhullan off the grid of a future England now under the totalitarian rule of “The Authority”.

Her first novel, Haweswaterwas published in Not a word was wasted in this book and I appreciate that. What is worth dying for?

Jun 20, Althea Ann rated it liked it. Turning out products that are not sold or used, just stacked in warehouses? Like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Carhullan Army is presented as an evidential document, the “statement of a female prisoner detained”. Hall’s acidic poetry follows through in The Carhullan Army ‘. Rather than enhancing the narrative it made me sit outside of it, consciously questioning the choices made by the author.

Why would the Authority be able to expand its power because the monarchy has essentially ended? The Electric Michelangelobut The Carhullan Army is as gripping – and shocking – a piece of writing as any you will read this year. The narrator makes a big deal out of insisting that the group is not a cult and that its leader, Jackie, is not crazy. A small group of men lived down the hill. I do not recognise the jurisdiction of this government. The book follows an unnamed woman as she escapes the town in which she grew up, and finds a home instead at the Carhullan farm.

The Carhullan Army: a near-future struggle that feels all too close

In this book, the women are defined as “strong” because they become ruthless, cold-blooded mercenaries with shaven heads. Jan 04, Alex rated it it was ok Shelves: The last paragraph is really good though intentional echoes of Inigo Montoya?

But as the charismatic, mercurial leader Jackie Nixon takes the narrator under her wing, it becomes clear this refuge is more fragile than it seems. Two, she buries dialogue what little there is of it in large paragraphs of exposition.


The world building sucked. The characters themselves are rather uninteresting and uninspiring. When the main character was a child, she knew of them and idolized Jackie. Bonnie Never mind, I got the answer after looking back at the Table of Contents.

The Carhullan Army are a group of renegade women who live in a self-sustaining farm, far beyond the reach of the totalitarian Authority that has taken over the UK. This short, spare, and deceptively simple novel is a first person account of a dystopian post-Brexit future. ary

Psychopath in the community – Telegraph

This is a hugely compelling novel of a nightmarish but conceivable future, brilliantly written. Like her first novel, HaweswaterThe Carhullan Army ramy set in Cumbria, and Hall’s sharp and vivid evocation of landscape “The light was fading fast, and the rust-coloured bracken in the banks looked like a tide of scrap metal” has the value of rooting her dark fantasy in a recognisable rural world.

One thing which comes to the top of my mind when I think of this book is that it was gripping from the beginning to the end. Women are forcibly fitted with metal coils to prevent reproduction and routinely humiliated by the government officials who monitor them. Jackie Nixon herself is a splendid creation, ablaze with the schizoid, lacerating intelligence of a guerrilla messiah, or warrior queen.