In The Spare Room of Elves and Men, Phillip Brown provides readers with a chance to delve into their critical faculty, to explore questions about humanity and the world in which we live. At the heart of the book is a question which requires much thought and consideration:
In light of man’s unceasing inhumanity to man, should the future of humanity be viewed with stubborn hope or with grim resignation?
The world of Mr Potts will stimulate new thinking on all kinds of subjects including war and language, as you explore the answer to this question. Read on to discover more about how the novel will get you thinking…
Make Us More Aware
Books have the power to provide us with fresh awareness about our behaviour and ways of thinking. They have the potential to open our eyes to something we might not have considered before.
Although The Spare Room is a work of fiction, the issues it discusses are very real. Take the depiction of the damage humans have caused to forests and trees. In the book, it is pointed out that ‘the earth itself is threatened with destruction from constant abuse,’ courtesy of humans. From toxic fumes to avid greed for wealth, we’re made aware of how in humans, we can find great destruction. War is another example of the prevalent themes within The Spare Room that also transcends beyond the page. As Phillip himself explains, even ‘in 2023, the inhumanity of war is still very much extant, and the unthinkable prospect of global nuclear war is not simply a subject confined to fiction writers.’
The book shines a spotlight on the behaviour of humanity towards the world and one another.
Opens Up Critical Thinking
With the chaotic nature of life, it’s easy to take things for granted sometimes and not consider the value of things. Take the power of language for example. For Mr Potts, according to the narrator, language was ‘all we’ve got to separate us from jungle animals,’ and if not looked after, we risk it becoming useless and fading away.
Through references to expressions such as ‘to kill two birds with one stone,’ and ‘taking the bull by the horns,’ the importance of language and communication is emphasised to us. The book challenges readers to think about the power of words, and whether we always mean what we say. We’re encouraged to ask questions and consider things we might not have given much thought to before. It can help open our minds.
A Thought-Provoking Read
Novels have the power not only to captivate and entertain but to be thought-provoking and stimulating too. To learn more about the eccentric Mr Potts and his relationship with the world, order your copy of The Spare Room of Elves and Men now by clicking here.