Other books byRupert Thomson
One night a boy who comes to be called Thomas Parry is taken from his family, caught up in a comprehensive unraveling of what had been a united kingdom. Reacting to their country’s inexorable decline into consumerism, turpitude, racism, and violence, the powers that be establish four independent republics based on the perceived nature of the citizens assigned to each. These new partitions are reinforced with concrete barricades and razor wire. Renamed, relocated, and granted favored status, Thomas enjoys one success after another until, working as a devoted civil servant, he suddenly falls out of the system entirely.
Death of a Murderer
After decades in prison for crimes gruesomely familiar to everyone in England, a murderer has finally died of natural causes, no less notorious in death than she was in life. Billy Tyler, a career policeman, has been assigned the task of guarding her body in the hospital morgue. But alone on a graveyard shift his wife begged him not accept, Billy has occasion to contemplate the various turns his life has taken and to discover why it is that on this dark night of the soul the reviled murderer seems to speak to him directly. Death of a Murderer is a gripping novel of crime, punishment, fear, and temptation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"We are in the dark side of the brain--full of grief and deliciously strange comedy. I've never read anything like it." --Michael Ondaatje With this eerie, provocative, and utterly original novel, Rupert Thomson takes the psychological thriller into unexplored territory. Martin Blom is walking toward his car in a supermarket parking lot when a single random bullet pierces his brain. From that moment he is blind--his doctor says permanently. But then one evening Martin discovers what is either a genuine miracle or a delusion suffered occasionally by the newly blind: in the dark, he can see. Armed with this ambiguous gift, Thomson's protagonist enters a nocturnal world of strip clubs and sleazy hotels. In that world, an alluring young woman may give herself to the one man she thinks is unable to see her, only to vanish inexplicably. In that world, a blind man may become a murder suspect. And in the gorgeously disorienting world of The Insult, reality itself is a consensual hallucination. And you succumb to it at your own risk. "Reads like an unholy collaboration between Oliver Sacks and Edgar Allan Poe." --Time Out "Thomson is a master stylist, a virtuoso of the hallucinatory image, a writer with a dark vision and a bright future." --Washington Post
Former bouncer Barker Dodds wants nothing more than to flee his violent past in his native Plymouth for an uncertain new existence as a barber in London's colorful East End. Waif-like Glade Spencer drifts through life as a waitress at a fashionable Soho restaurant, a devoted daughter to her estranged, caravan-dwelling father, and a long-distance girlfriend to an unpredictable American lawyer. And ambitious soft drink branch manager Jimmy Lyle is eager to please his new American boss with a revolutionary marketing strategy for Soft!, one that promises to make the new orange-colored beverage a soda sensation for the twenty-first century. It is under that effervescent orange glow that these three disparate souls intersect, as each learns "there is nothing soft about the soft drink industry." When unsuspecting "Soft! ambassador" Glade begins to unravel from her subconscious obsession with a product she's never tried, Jimmy's top-secret campaign threatens to spill into the daily papers, and Barker once again finds himself employed as a thug-for-hire. At turns harrowing and darkly humorous, Soft! is a magnificently surreal story, one that New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani calls "Rupert Thomson's most powerful novel yet."