Monday, February 15, 2010

The Glister (John Burnside)

I would really like to get inside John Burnside's mind to see how this novel came about. The premise is extremely interesting...sinister and unsettling. What exactly is going on in Innertown, a place where no one ever visits and no one ever leaves?

Innertown is known for exactly one thing...a decrepit, condemned chemical plant, which many consider to be the cause of strange diseases attacking its residents. It is not known to the outside world that Innertown is also the place where five young boys have disappeared. Morrison, the insecure constable, found the first boy, but made a regretful mistake in the aftermath. This mistake has changed his life and will ultimately be his demise. The book goes back and forth among different narrators and even tenses.

This novel was such a paradox in that I couldn't stop reading it, yet I still don't know if the mysteries were solved. The reader is under the assumption that what happened to those boys is the central mystery of The Glister. However, I was left with more questions than were answered. I would hope that Burnside did this intentionally. If so, he certainly met his mark, because I was left utterly confused. Read this if you care about a good plot but not a satisfying ending.


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