Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Alien Summer review

Only once in a while do you read something that makes you question your own mental health... did I really just read that? Am I sure I should be feeling like this after that? Dhalgren and The Quantity Theory of Insanity did it to me and, for some reason best left unexplored, so did watching the recent remake of I Spit on Your Grave. Alien Summer by Robert Bayley did it to me too... I was reading sections - particularly those in the desert - and started to confuse myself with what was real and what wasn't, how had I as the reader, and Jim as the protagonist, got here? Putting the book down was a little like waking after a long nights sleep after taking Night Nurse and while wearing your most comfortable and warm poorly jumper; a huge relief! Though a relief tinged with confusion.

As a writer, he's just getting better and better and the story just flows beautifully with any lapses being perfectly in keeping with the overall story. Sometimes slightly purple in language but not overly and the bits where Jim was falling in and out of memories were tantalising: we see him as a down-and-out but there is a whole history there that we're given glimpses of - we see so much more than a snapshot of a person.