In the beginning, is a very good place to commence with this rather unusual novel, penned by Philip Miller in an attempt to entertain but sadly, falling a little short of the original intent.
The two very distinct storylines of the novel are mean to intertwine and do so up to a point: dystopian Glasgow interlaced with the afterlife, a boys journey and a disillusioned journalist, who is the boy’s father, somehow don’t quite cut it.
Both ideas, that of a dystopian Glasgow after the recently failed referendum attempt, which leads to anarchy, military rule, violence and conflict would almost make a stand alone theme for a completely different style of novel.
The afterlife, a small boy being re-united with his beloved pet dog of his childhood, and his apparently long dead mother, which lead him into having to make choices far beyond his emotional, or aged understanding, takes it one step too far as a component of this conflicting story, but once again, could well be the basis of a very good novel.
The concept is good in so far as futuristic storytelling is concerned, but in this incarnation, it is somewhat confusing trying to keep the various threads from becoming so tangled, they become untenable.
For those who enjoy dark, traumatic reading, conflict and morality combined into one, it could well prove to be a read that is unforgettable and emotive, rating up there with much of the European ‘Noir’ style of contemporary literature.
For those who enjoy a comfortable read with a continuity of storyline, this could prove to be challenging, although a number of the chapters stand alone as well-crafted cameos.
Fragmented and yet somehow, in parts, enjoyable, this could well be classed as a challenging read.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|