I recently finished Glow by Ned Beauman. From the onset you are transported to London 2010 where you meet the main protagonists at a rave in a laundrette. Like in his previous novel ‘Boxer beetle’, Beauman enjoys bequeathing unusual ailments upon his characters. In this novel Raf’s body clock is out of sync with the earth’s 24hour cycle. He works on a 25 hour cycle which although it doesn’t sound a lot Beauman details how disruptive it is with Raf unable to hold down a job or girlfriend. When a friend is kidnapped by a mysterious noiseless white van and Raf’s potential new girlfriend is almost kidnapped by the same van, Raf sets out to discover what is really going on. Who owns the vans, why has the pirate radio station his friends operate been hijacked and what has it got to do with glow? Written in a style that meanders between an accentless Irvine Welsh’s ‘Acid house’, and Nick Butterworth’s ‘Percy the park keeper’ the easy flowing style and prose keep the pages turning. Raf is a very likable character who you want to succeed in getting the girl, killing the baddies and saving the entire planet. Does he do it? I recommend you read the book and find out.
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