Monday, September 7, 2009

Nemesis review

by Christine

When Nathan told me several years ago that he’d written a book but not found a publisher, I knew I wanted to read it. Then he told me he wrote it in an irritating fashion as an exercise in being annoying. I bit my tongue firmly, still determined to read it once it was published and hoping like anything I wasn’t going to be let down too badly.

Nemesis Train is a strange book. I should think many people could be annoyed by it. But an equal number of people will probably be intrigued. The style is different – one feels irritated because it is difficult to feel particularly attached to any of the individuals portrayed.

At the same time,
Nemesis Train is difficult to put down. Something is going to happen but what will it be? I was gratified to realise my early guess about the relationship between characters was correct.

I wondered often if Nathan intended his style to reflect the characters' state of mind. I did feel frustrated because I wanted to know them more, but it seemed that my forced distance from the characters was a reflection of the character’s distance from those around him.

A very clever work which, at its shocking conclusion, begs the reader to read it through again.

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