Wednesday, June 04, 2014

'Glow' by Ned Beauman

4 June 2014

I'm a big fan of the young novelist Ned Beauman: his second book 'The Teleportation Accident' (reviewed here in July 2013) was my Pick of the Year for 2013 and I also really enjoyed reading his debut 'Boxer, Beetle' (reviewed here in September 2013). So I eagerly pounced on his latest novel 'Glow' as soon as it was published last month and I have just finished reading it (as an unabridged audio book, narrated by Jamie Parker). It felt wonderful to be back in the company of Beauman's idiosyncratic authorial voice and it was great to spot some similar themes and characters from his earlier books. 'Glow' is set mainly in contemporary London and is a complicated tale of recreational drugs, a pirate radio station, appallingly powerful multinational companies, unusual sleep patterns, fakes and replicants – and foxes. The prose is careful, precise, complicated and very funny and there are numerous plot twists and an excessive number of underlying themes. 'Glow' is more of a straightforward thriller than the previous books but is still a complex read. I loved it while I was reading it but, on reflection I don't think it was quite as successful as his earlier novels. If you haven't experienced Ned Beauman yet I would urge you to start with 'The Teleportation Accident' but I'm really looking forward to whatever he writes next.



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