The Insult Hardcover – Aug 27 1996
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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 Paperback edition.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
When his stripper-girlfriend turns up dead, Blom becomes a suspect and sets out to find her killer.
The book is filled with a dark, hallucinatory atmosphere in gothic-like fashion. It lures you into this world with great promise. Problem is, it goes nowhere. Several storylines emerge, but none get developed. Characters appear and quickly drop out of sight -- there is very little consistency and zero carry-through. It's like Thomson had this cool idea but didn't have any clue what to do with it. As the reader, however, you're compelled to keep reading, hoping that this is all going to lead up to something. It doesn't. Then, after 260 pages, we enter an entirely new story. The narrator changes to someone we've never heard of before. This narrator begins telling her life story. We enter a completely different world. Talk about changing gears. The bigger problem is that this new story is better than the one the book begins with, mostly because it progresses with consistency, and pretty soon you forget the first half of the book ever existed.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book is magical. Thompson lures you into a strange yet captivating world and floods it with stunning images that are hard to forget. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2003 by Alyssa Donati
The Insult is like a breath of fresh air. A very interesting, twisty, weird tale about Martin Blom who is blinded in a freak accident. Read morePublished on July 15 2003 by Donna Maria
Rupert Thomsons book is outstanding. The plot is well thought out. You have a sense of the real paranoia that enters the characters mind when he believes he is being experimented... Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2000 by Richard Smith
If you've read the other reviews of this book, you already know that Martin Blom was "insulted" by a gunshot wound, leaving him blind by day but able to see... Read morePublished on Sept. 8 2000 by Amy T. Ruder
A beautifully written text. Begninning with a bullet-shaped punch, Thompson introduces new elements of the tale at precisely the right moments - the main character's initial 'flaw'... Read morePublished on June 1 2000 by A. R. Gray
This was a startling novel about a man who may or may not be in touch with reality. The descriptive first person narrative worked not once but twice in this story of a blind man,... Read morePublished on April 4 2000 by Kathleen P. McCahill
Well what can I say what started out as an interesting premise, was very disappointing. Character development was non existenet, the storyline gave you glimpses of interesting... Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2000
Martin Blom, victim of a random shooting, is rendered blind. As the story unwinds he finds he can see but only at night or in the dark. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 1999 by John IV