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The Glamour [2005 Revised] (2005)

by Christopher Priest

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1633132,924 (3.47)None
Cameraman Richard Grey's memory has blanked out the few weeks before he was injured in a car bomb explosion. When he is visited by a girl who seems to have been his lover, his attempts to recall the forgotten period produce an odyssey through France and conflicting accounts of what happened. When Susan Kewley speaks to him of that time, he finds himself glimpsing a terrible twilight world - the world of "the glamour".… (more)
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English (2)  French (1)  All languages (3)
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What do you get when you mix a solid psychological thriller with expertly placed leads, reveals, red-herrings and plot reversals, treat it gently, considerately, and then pair it with a righteous fantasy/SF treatment of the invisible man?

Do you get The Invisible Man? Hell no! Not when Christopher Priest writes it! Instead, you go down a rabbit hole of perception, negative hallucinations, a frustrated romance, a sinister triangle relationship, and PLOT TWISTS that kicked my butt.

And I thought Prestige was good? Well, welcome to an oh-so-gentle tie-in to all his other later-period novels, a very tight plot of discovery that takes the literary version of the old superhero problem of being invisible and makes it not only real but psychologically damaging. And my description doesn't do it justice. It's not like anything I've read unless I count those few handfuls of novels that manage to truly surprise me, of course. :)

I think the best part was how this novel demolished itself. I chortled with glee. :) ( )
1 vote bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Give it 3.5.

This is a tough book to review. I'm not even sure what genre it slips into. It's well written by a competent author, but I found myself getting very frustrated a times throughout. Yet how much of that frustration was just me being manipulated by the author in conveying the frustration of his characters?

Richard Grey, convalescing in hospital after extensive injuries sustained in a bomb attack and suffering amnesia is visited by an odd woman claiming to be from his past. Richard sees this woman as the key to unlocking his lost memories. What follows is an queer story about hidden people moving about the world, the nature of our own realities and the strain and pressures this puts on relationships.

The story shifts perspectives and tense, a tricky skill for any author to successfully deliver and I did find it somewhat disconcerting at times, but generally well executed. At other times, the overly-long retelling of the backstory by main character's love interest dragged for me with the story seem to wonder aimless for stretches. I also found Sue's inability to leave her former lover behind frustrating, but reflecting on it, it doesn't seem too far from stories you read about women who keep returning to abusive relationships - is this another success of the writer?

To it's credit, The Glamour is a thoughtful psychological study though I did find it a somewhat lacking in highs and lows tension-wise.

( )
  StaticBlaq | Apr 26, 2015 |
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J'essaie de me rappeler quand tout a commencé, en évoquant mon enfance et en me demandant si un événement particulier a fait de moi ce que je suis.
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Don't combine with the edition dated 1984. The current edition is a rewrite of that novel.
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Cameraman Richard Grey's memory has blanked out the few weeks before he was injured in a car bomb explosion. When he is visited by a girl who seems to have been his lover, his attempts to recall the forgotten period produce an odyssey through France and conflicting accounts of what happened. When Susan Kewley speaks to him of that time, he finds himself glimpsing a terrible twilight world - the world of "the glamour".

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