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The Glister

de John Burnside

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3402856,765 (3.17)43
Leonard, The Glister's fifteen-year-old narrator, lives in the decaying coastal community of Innertown. Every year or so, a boy from Leonard's 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 to the contrary, the authorities claim they are simply runaways. The local children want to know the truth, and Leonard takes refuge in the poisoned ruins of the plant, where he renews his friendship with an itinerant ecologist known as Moth Man to discover a shocking truth.… (més)
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» Mira també 43 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 28 (següent | mostra-les totes)
'The Glister' promises a great deal, but in the end it has little more to offer than that cheap trick of the modern "literary" novel: writing the last chapter in obfuscating prose to mask the fact that as an author you never had an end-game in mind.

Burnside's Innertown's post-industrial decay and dispirited inhabitants aren't too far off from reality, and the mystery of the missing children, the cover-up and the desperation add an urgency to the story. The whole novel suffers from overwriting, but that's something I'll always forgive - especially if the effect is as pleasing as 'The Glister' was - if the author can back up their fluff with something substantial.

Leonard, the teenage boy who we're led to believe is our protagonist, seems to be on the right track to figuring out the problem that is Innertown, or at the very least escaping it, until his journey fizzles. He doesn't learn anything. His character starts as being worldly wise and ambivalent and the novel leaves him that way. Am I naive to have wanted more? Am I hopelessly stuck with some modernist expectation for a novel to achieve something? Should I just shrug 'The Glister' off because even if it didn't amount to anything, at least it sounded good while it lasted? Maybe there's something to that, but if I'm going to redefine my expectations of what a novel should be, its going to be something damn better than this. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
This is a book where beautiful writing overshadowed a confusing ending. That pulled this one into the like category for me. ( )
  reginaplove | Sep 9, 2018 |
I'm stunned by how low the average rating us for this book! I absolutely fell in love with Burnside's way with words and devoured this book in a day. The "abstract" edge to the plot leaves room for great discussion. ( )
1 vota PagesandPints | Sep 1, 2016 |
bookshelves: published-2008, one-penny-wonder, hardback, autumn-2013, lit-richer, bullies, boo-scary, plague-disease, tbr-busting-2013
Read from September 18 to October 22, 2013


Perth.

Opening: Where I am now, I can hear the gulls.

Probably one of the most terrifying books I have ever read and no doubt The Moth Man will puzzle me to the end of time but oh, how I would have loved a decent ending - a full star drop right there.

Would recommend to no-one.

3.5* Glister
4* A Summer of Drowning
4* The Devil's Footprints ( )
  mimal | Jan 1, 2014 |
Darkly Scottish and full of adolescent angst, adult angst, and murderous angst. Great tone and characterizations. ( )
1 vota willmurdoch | Nov 5, 2011 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 28 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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"Hist, then. How dost thou know that some entire, living, thinking thing may not be invisibly and uninterpenetratingly standing precisely where thou now standest; aye, and standing there in thy spite? In thy most solitary hours, then, dost thou not fear eavesdroppers?" --Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, or, The Whale
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No n'hi ha cap

Leonard, The Glister's fifteen-year-old narrator, lives in the decaying coastal community of Innertown. Every year or so, a boy from Leonard's 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 to the contrary, the authorities claim they are simply runaways. The local children want to know the truth, and Leonard takes refuge in the poisoned ruins of the plant, where he renews his friendship with an itinerant ecologist known as Moth Man to discover a shocking truth.

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Mitjana: (3.17)
0.5 1
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2 15
2.5 7
3 28
3.5 8
4 25
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