Fourth Estate, €15.99;
THE announcement that the visionary film director David Cronenberg would be releasing his debut novel came as a surprise to many.
At 71 years old, it seems a strange time to embark on a new career path when most others would be retiring. But it is, of course, welcome news — despite his huge output of films spanning a number of genres, the director’s passionate fan base always wants more.
Cronenberg is very clearly, from the first page to the last, a natural writer.
His visual style, that works so well on the screen, translates almost exactly to the page, and the sense of disgust and unease brought about by his own genre of ‘body horror’ is also present.
The novel’s main theme of obsession is most obvious in its use of camera brand names and model detail — if this book were a film and you were playing the Product Placement Drinking Game, you’d be unconscious by the end of the first chapter.
But this is exactly the reason it works — by the last page, you feel just as obsessed as the flawed characters themselves.
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