Thursday 1 January 2015

The Mirror World of Melody Black - Gavin Extence

My first read of the new year is the second book from Gavin Extence. Having really enjoyed Alex Woods I was expecting great things from Extence's second book, and he did not disappoint.

The story follows the 'madness' of freelance journalist Abby, as she experiences a manic episode and the fallout that follows. The story is told from her point of view so we are given her perceptions of events and left to wonder how reliable a witness she can have been at times. Throughout the book there are moments of black humour that help make the painful and difficult subject matter more palatable.

This is obviously a very personal novel for Extence, the details are well drawn and sharply illustrate the loss of reality that Abby is going through. The postscript illustrates just how personal the whole story is to the author and adds depth to the reading experience.

This is not a cosy, 'Curious Incident' style look at it's subject matter, and I would say it has much more in common with Costa Prize winning 'Shock of the Fall' You can expect a stark look at mental illness here.

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