Item description for Hinterland by Gabriel Strange David Barnett...
What is the shadowy beast that roams the lonely moors? Why does a mass-produced painting leave its owners horribly dead? Why does no-one speak of the lost girls living on a small island in the middle of the duck pond? Who sits in the sinister black cars that watch the streets?
And what secrets does the man with the violin case hold?
These are the mysteries which set a young journalist lurching away from the normal, everyday life he leads and into a night-marish world he never knew ex-isted... yet which hides in plain sight all around him.
And at the heart of it all, a nightclub where those who walk paths unknown to the rest of us party on, through day and night and towards the end of the world.
The blurred edges of this strange, mythic world are brought into sharp, horrifying focus as one man discovers that scratching the surface of normality can throw up all kinds of surprises - and not all of them pleasant.
Whether the enigmas herald a terrifying conspiracy that threatens the lives of innocent people who just happen to take too much notice of the world around them, or are simply the signposts to drug-fuelled insan-ity, the question remains: Once you've noticed just how weird life really is, can you ever go home again?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.43" Width: 5.43" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.93 lbs.
Release Date Jan 31, 2005
Publisher Immanion Press/Magalithica Books
ISBN 1904853196 ISBN13 9781904853190
Reviews - What do customers think about Hinterland?
Buy it now - before the Apocalypse Aug 6, 2005
This book is a dark gem.
Hinterland charts the descent of a young journalist, Dave, into drug-fuelled madness - or his journey toward disturbing nocturnal truths about the world. It depends on your point of view.
David Barnett shares a first name and a profession with his fictional protagonist, and I'd like to think, for the sake of Mr Barnett's health and sanity, that this novel isn't strictly autobiographical.
Fictional reporter Dave is a hot-shot on his local paper; a fun-loving guy with loyal mates and a tangled but exhilarating love life. Then he has a series of scoops with weird stories such as the Beast of Shotmoor and the Curse of the Crying Boy. And we begin to learn that Dave's life and his apparently mundane English town possess grim secrets.
What exactly is the nature of the nightclub Arcadia, which seems to exist in a time-warp on the edge of town - in the Hinterland of the title? Who is the man with the violin case? Who is the Alpha Geek? As the mysteries pile up, Dave becomes an increasingly harried and deranged figure.
Barnett handles the juxtaposition of the strange and the ordinary with extraordinary skill. His treatment of the Island of Lost Women is a good example. Two women - twins - grow up as feral children on an island in the middle of a lake in a municipal park; which sounds implausible as I've put it. But Barnett not only makes it heartbreakingly possible, he also manages to weave it superbly into the novel's main themes of alienation and the unpalatable "truths" that fester behind the closed curtains of suburbia.
Like many good books, Hinterland is open to a number of interpretations. It can be read as a straightforward X-files-style mystery; though it is much more than that. It can be read as a clever description of insanity, related from the viewpoint of an insane mind. Or should it be seen as a castigation of the cultural blindness of our technological, pleasure-driven society? An epigraph for the novel could taken from Vladimir's monologue in Beckett's Waiting for Godot: "Was I sleeping, while the others suffered?" Or maybe the novel is a metaphor for artistic revelation and the alienation of the artist.
However this book is interpreted, it deserves to be read. Oh, and where can I buy a bottle of the Red Mist that the characters keep drinking...?