Glow: A Novel
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South London, May 2010: foxes are behaving strangely, Burmese immigrants are going missing, and everyone is trying to get hold of a new party drug called Glow. A young man suffering from a rare sleep disorder will uncover the connections between all these anomalies in this taut, riveting new novel by a young writer hailed by The Guardian as “playful, arresting, unnerving, opulent, rude and—above all—deliciously, startlingly, exuberantly fresh.”
Twenty-two-year-old Raf spends his days walking Rose, a bull terrier who guards the transmitters for a pirate radio station, and his nights at raves in warehouses and launderettes. When his friend Theo vanishes without a trace, Raf’s efforts to find him will lead straight into the heart of a global corporate conspiracy. Meanwhile, he’s falling in love with a beautiful young woman he met at one of those raves, but he’ll soon discover that there is far more to Cherish than meets the eye.
Combining the pace, drama, and explosive plot twists of a thriller with his trademark intellectual, linguistic, and comedic pyrotechnics, Glow is Ned Beauman’s most compelling, virtuosic, and compulsively readable novel yet.
two-storey council blocks overlooking a small park with swings and a tree. Everything is a bit too bright and concentrated, sickening, like undiluted orange squash. Raf can hear radios and car horns and the rumble of an overground train, and he can smell chip fat and bus exhaust and fishmonger’s ice melting in the gutter, but there isn’t enough bustle here to generate any of those harmonies, just a few men and women walking up and down the street, nearly all of them Burmese, dressed in cheap
either Zaya or Gandayaw. That was what he hoped. Today she didn’t look to him half Burmese and half white but rather fully, emphatically both. “I’m so bad at this now,” said Cherish, looking down at the catapult. “You can practise some more on the banana blossoms,” said Zaya as they set out through the trees. They were following a path that the men in the camp often used when they went hunting, although the vegetation was still so dense in front of them that if you weren’t used to the jungle
her twice a week, keep her hungry and resentful; but he loves dogs, and he just couldn’t restrain himself, especially after Isaac told him he had a friend needing cash work. Rose now lives in a sort of shanty cabin nailed together out of tarpaulin, cardboard, insulating foam, and whatever else Raf could haul up the ladder to the roof, with a tub of rainwater next to a pile of old blankets that Rose can nudge together into a bed, and the lift machinery as her noisy neighbour. During the winter,
“Do you want … uh … do you want some money too? Or a drink?” They held eye contact for a waxy second before Win called to the barman for a glass of Johnnie Walker Red and Coca-Cola, which was the most expensive thing you could order in this bar. The white guy turned the carton of cigarettes upside down so that all the individual packs fell out onto the table. “There are only four in here,” he said, and laughed again. Win knew that if they went back to the white guy’s hotel room later, the white
five sizes too big for her. As always, they are magnificent. Stooping to unclip Rose’s leash from her collar, Raf sees a huge bouquet of tulips resting in the kitchen sink. “Who’s that from?” “By the time we left the laundrette the second time, the flower market had started,” says Isaac. “Those kids from the dryer insisted on buying me those. They said I was beautiful. Hello, dog! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello!” “But you and Barky went home before I did.” “We went back later