An Hour in the Darkness
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Michael Bailey’s new novel charts the unsettling and powerful story of one young man’s slide into a confused reality.
‘I have been hugely inspired by JD Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye,’ observes Edinburgh author Michael. ‘I enjoy using the first person narrative and this style works well with An Hour in the Darkness.’
Michael’s novel begins when his narrator, Franklin, suffers a bang on his head that jars his grasp on reality. Franklin begins his desperate journey through his home town in his search of love, forgiveness and understanding. He finds comfort in conversations with his young sister Jenny – but as he reveals himself to be a highly unreliable narrator, we must ask if Jenny exists or is merely a figment of his troubled mind?
Franklin is increasingly losing touch with reality when, against the backdrop of a local landmark he meets a man he believes to be God. This stranger tells of his own son who had similar problems and in his increasing confusion Franklin believes the man is likening him to Jesus. As Franklin’s life spirals further out of control his behaviour becomes ever more erratic, culminating in his touching, frightening attempts to win the affections of market-girl Ronnie, who is fascinated and frightened in turn by this strange, funny, ill young man.
Dealing with such universal themes as loss, love, guilt, forgiveness, relationships and mental health, this is an unsettling, but powerful, novel which will appeal to readers of books such as The Shock of the Fall.
ever helped him out. Anyway, I told him I wouldn’t disturb all his staff, I just wanted to buy some goddamn fruit for the weekend, if that was alright. So anyway, I wandered, real casual, up to the stall and Ronnie started eyeing me up and down like I was a bleeding murderer or something. I started to examine the fruit on sale like I was a connoisseur from Del Monte or something. It was all just a game really. Ronnie asked me real politely if there was anything I wanted, and I sort of went
hell out of me too. Karen said she thought I was dead or something worse. Apparently, according to Karen, I passed out on the floor for a few minutes and my body was twitching horribly. For Chrissake Karen, I said. Karen then went on to say that my eyes went into my head, so that they looked all white, and I started saying crazy things. I jawed at her that I was always saying crazy things. I was as well. I was always saying crazy things to make Karen laugh. I have to make everybody I meet laugh.
Poor Dad just stared at me like I was the saddest thing he’d ever seen in his life. Then Mum suddenly stopped talking and started to cry, and it just about broke my heart to see it. When Dad spoke I think it was the first time I listened. “You look terrible, son.” “Gee, thanks, Dad.” “What’s happened to you?” He didn’t mean the stabbing either. Mum stopped crying, but there was an awful lot of sniffing going on. “I feel right lonely sometimes, you know, missing you both and
wanted to kill myself. I hate all those social bashes, don’t you? I just wanted the girl all to myself. I was so terrified that Ronnie would meet someone who would make her laugh more than I did. You can understand that, can’t you? If it isn’t all about me, it just isn’t worth it. Look, I’ll love you to death, but if you start laughing at something someone else has said I’m going to leave you, okay? I won’t stand for that. It doesn’t matter if you laugh at something that one of your girlfriends
you in the eye, for Chrissake. The book said that this so-called hotshot had some kind of social phobia. Boy, I just couldn’t take it in too well. This charlatan just stayed in his room all day because he was terrified of going out and meeting people. He never had any friends. In fact, the author couldn’t find one person in the whole damn world who actually knew the guy personally. Christ, all those women screaming at him and he never once had a girlfriend. Listen, he never had a sexual