Wednesday 21 August 2019

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver @will_carver @OrendaBooks #TeamOrenda #NothingImportantHappenedToday

Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader
Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.
That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.
Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe: a decapitation in Germany, a public shooting at a university in Bordeaux; in Illinois, a sports team stands around the centre circle of the football pitch and pulls the trigger of the gun pressed to the temple of the person on their right. It becomes a movement.

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver is published by Orenda Books: ebook on 14 September, followed by paperback on 14 November 2019.

My head is broken!  My words have disappeared. I honestly cannot stop thinking about this dark, twisted, powerfully told story, but I am struggling to explain why.
I've read a lot of books over the years and whilst reading this one I couldn't help but think of the only other author who made me feel this way. The story screams Kafka to me; there's that fusion of realism and fantasy, with the isolation of the nameless characters who form a cult, yet are totally separate from one another.

Yes! That's it - Nothing Important Happened Today is 'Kafkaesque' .... with vivid imagery and flickers of humour incorporated throughout.

The outline of the story is all in the blurb. Nine seemingly unrelated people travel to Chelsea Bridge one night. They each have a bag that contains a rope. They don't speak to each other. They don't have to. They know exactly what to do and when to do it. They all jump from the bridge.
There are thirty-two witnesses on the train that is passing by ... two of those witnesses will join the other nine. And there will be more, and more.  This is a cult, or so it seems, but nobody knows who is the leader.  Those nine people are just the beginning; more follow as the effects of the initial deaths spread worldwide.

Every person who dies by suicide in this book has a number, and apart from two people, the reader never learns their actual names. They are the people who serve you in the supermarket, who fix your drains, who wash your car. They are the People of Choice ..... their paths will have crossed at some time in their lives, but it is the one plain envelope that they all receive that joins them.

Despite their anonymity, this clever author makes every character real and genuine; each one has their own particular qualities, and whilst they may be just another cult member to the onlookers and the people reading about them in the news; as a reader we begin to know them intimately.

Of course this is a mystery story; a crime story; a thriller. Of course the police are desperately looking for the leader; the person who has so much influence that ordinary people will take their lives, even though they don't want to die.  They don't want to die, we know that, yet they do, at their own hand.

This is not an easy read. It's very dark, often uncomfortable and at times, I found it quite distressing.

Carver leads his readers a merry dance, and I was convinced that I knew who, if not why. What a fool I am! The author is sharp and shrewd, with an imagination that I could never foretell. The ending is cunning genius and even though I am still a tiny bit baffled by it all, it's a satisfying conclusion that makes the intriguing prologue make sense.

This is stylish and extraordinary writing. It's puzzling and perplexing but so damn good. There is something quite mesmerising about this story that defies genre and quite frankly, logic.
Stunning ...  this will linger in my mind forever.

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. 
He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. 
He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. 
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. 
Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

Twitter @will_carver
Author Page on Facebook

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