Sunday, July 19, 2009

The glister by John Burnside

A main character in this story is the town of Innertown. Innertown was once home to 'The Plant' which is now closed and become a wasteland. No one is sure what was manufactured there, maybe harmless agricultural chemicals, maybe chemical weapons. Nevertheless there are constant stories about mutant creatures who wander in the night as well as clusters of odd illness among the people of Innertown. Seemingly very few ever escape from the horrors of Innertown. The few that do include five young teen boys who vanish without a trace. The cast of characters include the somewhat slow police officer of the town, a gang of young teens who come straight out of Lord of the Flies and the mysterious Moth Man.

This book is certainly dark and spooky. It has some fairly graphic sex scenes between young teens. However, I was completely lost. Certain characters are never developed, questions are half asked then never answered. The ending was more a disappointment than a revelation. Maybe I just was not smart enough for this book.

The glister (228pgs) was written by John Burnside who has also written The Devil's Footprints and the memoir A Lie about My Father. In reading the review of A Lie about My Father, it seems that some of The glister comes directly from Burnside's own childhood. "(H)e lost himself in more adult versions of the wild - binge-drinking, sex, hallucinogenic drugs, week-long parties. He first took LSD, he says, with a sense of sacrament (as a Catholic, he knew the sensation of a wafer on the tongue) and because the adult world seemed to be a web of untruths".

This statement could easily apply to Leonard, one of the main charecters in The glister.

Final Review: Too smart for me, I am interested in checking out the memoir A Lie about My Father.

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