March 10, 2009

The Glister by John Burnside

John Burnside’s The Glister opens in a modern day ghost town. The chemical plant that once fused the city with life and prosperity has been closed and left to rot. Everything in the town can be described as dead and deformed. The town’s adults are apathetic, depressed and diseased. The children are violent, promiscuous, and haunted. But no one ever leaves the town, unless of course, they disappear.

This book is not a typical horror or mystery novel. It’s more of a very long dark fable complete with an abstract ending and an obscure moral. This is not an easy read; it can best be described as uncomfortable and difficult. Burnside manages to infuse every aspect of his tales with menace, down to the last comma. There is sex, violence and adult language—the majority of it committed by young adults. It’s also the kind of book that may torment it’s readers for months. If there is a more terrifying or disturbing novel out there, I have yet to read it. I’d warn anyone considering the novel that it is scary and edgy. You may not like it, but you should definitely read it.

1 comment:

  1. sounded great until the scary part, lol. i cannot do scary!


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