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Glister by John Burnside
  

Synopsis

Glister by John Burnside

The children of Innertown exist in a state of suspended terror. Every year or so, a boy from their school disappears, vanishing into the wasteland of the old chemical plant. Nobody knows where these boys go, or whether they are alive or dead, and without evidence the authorities claim they are simply runaways. The town policeman, Morrison knows otherwise. He was involved in the cover-up of one boy's murder, and he believes all the boys have been killed. Though he is seriously compromised, he would still like to find out the killer's identity. The local children also want to know and, in their fear and frustration, they turn on Rivers, a sad fantasist and suspected paedophile living alone at the edge of the wasteland.Trapped and frightened, one of the boys, Leonard, tries to escape, taking refuge in the poisoned ruins of the old plant; there he finds another boy, who might be the missing Liam and might be a figment of his imagination. With his help, Leonard comes to understand the policeman's involvement, and exacts the necessary revenge - before following Liam into the Glister: possibly a disused chemical weapons facility, possibly a passage to the outer world. A terrifying exploration of loss and the violence that pools under the surface of the everyday, Glister is an exquisitely written, darkly imagined novel by one of our greatest contemporary writers.

Reviews

A novel that pierces the heart of evil... Consume it at night. Turn out the lights and watch the walls glow Scotsman Baffling, haunting, terrifying, moving, and compulsively readable Daily Telegraph In the end we are left with the resonance of a book whose centre is nowhere but whose circumference is extraordinarily large Financial Times Nobody does eerie quite like John Burnside... exquisite and haunting... the violence in Glister is shot through with an awful grace...As with all of Burnside's work - poetry, novels and memoir - there is a vision of something inexplicable at the heart of things. I doubt I will read a more unsettling and memorable book this year Scotland on Sunday Darkly compelling murder mystery., the novel is also a densely layered engagement with questions of politics, spirituality, environmentalism and meta fiction. It is an incredible book; its echoes sound long after the end has been reached Big Issue


About the Author

John Burnside has published eleven previous collections of poetry, including among them The Asylum Dance, which won the 2000 Whitbread Poetry Award, and six works of fiction - most recently the novel, A Summer of Drowning, which came out this year. He has also written two books of memoirs, A Lie About My Father and Waking Up In Toytown.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 2009

Author

John Burnside

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Author's Website

johnburnside.com/

Publisher

Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
272 pages

Categories

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780099507840

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