We are ten days into one of the biggest book blogging events of the year - #30Authors! #30Authors is an annual event connecting readers, authors, and bloggers. Throughout the month of September, 30 authors review their favorite books on 30 blogs in 30 days. The event has been met with incredible support from and success within the literary community. In the six months following the event’s inaugural launch, the concept was published as an anthology by Velvet Morning Press (Legacy: An Anthology). Started by The Book Wheel, #30Authors remains active throughout the year and you can join in the fun by following along on Twitter at @30Authors, using the hashtag, #30Authors, or purchasing the anthology. To learn more about the event, please click here.
Hello there Readers! It's probably a given to most of us that authors are rock stars. They make our dreams come true in many ways. But who is your rock star if you ARE an author? #30Authors helps answer that question and today we have a glimpse into rock star author Claire Fuller's opinion of The Casualties, by Nick Holdstock. I am extremely excited to host Claire Fuller's review today. Her book, Our Endless Numbered Days, received rave reviews on all fronts and I highly recommend it! Without further ado, here's Claire:
How many of us know the people who live on our street well enough to describe all their quirks and idiosyncrasies? Not many, I’d guess. But perhaps it might be worth getting to understand them a little better.
Sam Clark is curious about his neighbours, he wants to find out everything about the eccentric people who live and work on Comely Bank, a street in Edinburgh in 2016/2017: the man who lives under a bridge and gives unhelpful health advice; the girl with bad skin who falls in love with Sam; the nymphomaniac who looks after an obese man with learning difficulties and many more. The novel is told by a narrator living sixty years in the future after half the world has been destroyed, and the post-apocalyptic sections, although much shorter than the parts set on Comely Bank, provide an interesting reflection on how we identify and describe people today. The narrator says that in the future people’s lives and actions won’t be explained by their histories – where they lived, what they did, who their parents were – but individuals will be taken at face value. And the fact that the reader knows that many or possibly all of these characters won’t survive adds pathos to each personal history.
Holdstock drip-feeds information about the disaster in a way that teases and intrigues, until the end of the book, when time and characters literally collide.
Like the novels of Richard Brautigan and Haruki Murakami, The Casualties is full of magic realism and black comedy, and to enjoy it completely you have to give yourself up to its strangeness. You have to accept, just like the narrator does, that there is nothing odd about people walking backwards, that it’s normal for a couple to stroll with their wrists tied together by string, or to come across a book called, ‘When Big Dogs are Small’. It took me a chapter or two to stop questioning the reality of the story, but once I accepted the odd and wonderful world that Holdstock has created, I loved it.
Author Bio Claire Fuller’s debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days has recently been published in the UK, US, Canada and France and will be published in a further five countries. It is the 2015 winner of the Desmond Elliott prize for debut fiction and has been nominated for the Edinburgh First Book Award. Claire lives in Winchester, England with her husband and children.