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Indigo by Graham Joyce


by Graham Joyce

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Seriously weird and not very special. Two half-siblings are caught up in their dead father's obsession with Indigo, a sometimes "literal" sometimes metaphorical alternate to normal perception. As one of the characters blurts out the obvious interpretation a few pages before the end, all the reader's judgement is handed back. The strongest thing in this is the book within a book that must be published in 200K copies for the will to be satisfied. What actual gains of achieving Indigo are is the biggest mystery. ( )
  quondame | Feb 21, 2019 |
At first sight, this book seems to occupy the same space as Christopher Priest's 'The Glamour'; both claim to involve invisibility. But in Joyce's book, the invisibility is something more of a McGuffin; and a wider cast of characters and more exotic foreign travel colour appear in the book (although, even in Chicago, the colour tends towards the blue end of the spectrum...).

The central character, Jack Chambers, very much plays the Englishman Abroad, though he seems to feel equally at home in both the USA and Italy as he chases up all sorts of loose ends in settling the affairs of his father, from whom he was estranged. Settling the will brings him into contact with a half-sister he never knew he had, and a group of his father's artistic hangers-on whom he had enticed into his circle with the promise of advancement, fame and the revelation of a Secret - the secret of Indigo. Even that secret is elusive and may even be a total fraud; how Jack Chambers resolves those problems is an exciting and by turns humorous and tragic story.

Graham Joyce has done his research here, both into places and art, and some interesting side alleys as well, such as epilepsy and US law on pornography. Chambers' father's book on Indigo has the terrifying certainty of all nut-cult gospels, though some of the psychology in the novel certainly rings true. Joyce has also returned to themes of transgressive relationships explored in some of his earlier novels.

All in all I found this a satisfying read, and more of a page-turner than I expected, without the lack of substance that term implies. And there remains a mystery at the end of the book, even after one other mystery has turned into two before being resolved. ( )
2 vote RobertDay | Jan 12, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671039385, Paperback)

It is a color the human eye cannot truly see, a slice of the spectrum imbued with the promise of invisibility. But for Jack Chambers, the son of a scientist renowned as both a genius and a madman, it will lead to places of unknown treachery. As executor of his estranged-father's will, Jack is appointed two ominous tasks: publish Timothy Chambers' bizarre manuscript "Invisibility: A Manual of Light," and track down an unknown woman who stands to inherit the substantial estate. Jack's mission leads him to reunite with his half-sister, Louise, now grown into a stunning woman. Bound by a tense attraction, Jack and Louise head to Rome, where a cultlike group pursues the intoxicating secrets of the elusive indigo -- and where Jack perceives its horrid danger only when it's too late.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In his first novel of literary suspense, award-winning author Joyce explores the far reaches of human passions and madness. Indigo is a thriller which finds believing is not always seeing.

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