If you haven't discovered the black-magic world of British novelist Rupert Thomson, this quality paperback edition of his psychological thriller, The Insult
, is a fine point of entry. There are elements of both Franz Kafka and Raymond Chandler in the story, as Martin Blom--blinded by a shot to the head in a supermarket parking lot--finds out one night that he can actually see. Is it a result of what his doctors insist is a delusion often suffered by the newly blinded? Or does it have something to do with a bizarre experiment hidden in a secret file in a part of the hospital he accidentally stumbles upon? Martin is soon living on his own in a seedy hotel, using his unique night vision to explore adventures--social, criminal, and sexual--totally new to him. If The Insult
gets you hooked on Thomson, Air & Fire
is also available.
--This text refers to the
From Publishers Weekly
Thomson (Air and Fire) can certainly write up a storm. The young English novelist has a remarkable bag of tricks at his disposal, with a tinglingly fresh eye and ear for the most fleeting of sights and sounds and a dashing way with metaphor and imagery. At first, it looks as if his tale of Martin Blom, a young man in an unnamed country who is shot in the head one night and blinded, is going to be a sort of contemporary Kafka vision. Blom is treated in a strange institution by a sinister doctor. Then he finds he can see again, but only at night; fleeing to a dour capital city, he begins to organize his lonely life around that fact. It is when Blom meets and falls for the mysterious Nina, and she disappears, that The Insult begins to go off the rails. What had been an absorbingly macabre study in solitude veers, in its second half, into a histrionic family history of Nina that seems only steps away from Cold Comfort Farm. After that, it is impossible to rekindle the intense interest Thomson had originally ignited in Martin's story, and the book, for all its incandescent writing and malign urban atmosphere, peters out glumly.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.