The Insult: A Novel

Overview

A gritty yet sublimely intelligent psychological thriller, this book is a return to the vivid, unsettling urban underworld Thomson explored in his first two novels. "We are in the dark side of the brain, full of grief and deliciously strange comedy. I've never read anything like it, " writes Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient.

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1996-08-27 Hardcover New Hardback w/ DJ. You are buying a Book in NEW condition with very light shelf wear to include very light edge and corner wear.

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0679446729 As New Rare books make Fine Gifts. Shipped in new box. Free tracking USA. Quality, Value, Experience.

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1996 Hardcover First American Edition New in New dust jacket 0-679-44672-9. Book and DJ are New, first American Edition, Laurie 10, ; 1.5 x 8.1 x 5.9 Inches; 406 pages.

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Overview

A gritty yet sublimely intelligent psychological thriller, this book is a return to the vivid, unsettling urban underworld Thomson explored in his first two novels. "We are in the dark side of the brain, full of grief and deliciously strange comedy. I've never read anything like it, " writes Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A blind man is suspected of murder. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Martin Blom, the victim of a random shooting in a city parking lot, is permanently blinded, but during his recovery he becomes convinced that he has night vision and alters his life accordingly. Thus begins a darkly amusing psychological thriller that propels a blind man headlong into the predawn haunts of a teeming metropolis where reality and fantasy merge in a world seen by Martin alone. But in his private world of borderline reality, Nina is flesh and blood, and it is Martin's obsession for her that ultimately forces him to acknowledge his blindness in a situation that has become dead serious. In his previous novels (e.g., Air and Fire, LJ 11/15/93), Thomson proved himself to be master of the surreal. This compelling mix of descriptive imagery and storytelling should strengthen his reputation as a weaver of readable tales and insure his place among England's best young writers. For most fiction collections.Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
Kirkus Reviews
A feverishly imagined tale of a blind man who develops night vision and uses it to search for a vanished lover, this is a surpassingly bleak and defiantly illogical study of obsession from the highly touted Thomson (Air and Fire, 1994, etc.).

In a Kafkaesque transformation, Martin Blom awakens in a hospital bed, blind after being struck in the head by a stray bullet while carrying groceries to his car—a blindness that his neurosurgeon says is permanent. Morris's disbelief and self-pity are normal responses, but when he discovers to his wonder that he can see—in the dark—his life assumes a new, furtive meaning. He breaks completely with his past, including parents and fiancée, to embrace a nocturnal existence, moving in secret to a disreputable hotel in the heart of the city and making friends with other equally odd creatures of the night. The mysterious Nina enters his life, fulfilling his wildest sexual fantasies. But she breaks with him, then disappears, when she discovers his peculiar powers of sight, leaving a heartbroken Martin under suspicion of foul play. In desperation, and increasingly certain that he's serving as some bizarre sort of guinea pig for his neurosurgeon (his night vision is suddenly replaced by nonstop TV broadcasts in his head), he digs into Nina's past and visits her distant hometown. There, safe from the police, and from the TV signals, Martin settles into a rundown spa and is treated by an elderly woman to an extraordinary tale of incest, retardation, and gruesome violence. Martin and Nina are, it turns out, but the latest victims of the train of events set in motion by the woman's youthful transgression.

The pieces of this grim saga remain just that: Vivid fragments in a pattern that fails to cohere. But there is nonetheless a dark, hugely suggestive power at work here, cumulatively having the visceral impact of a nightmare.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679446729
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/27/1996
  • Pages: 406
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.21 (h) x 1.29 (d)

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