I review Unconscious Knowledge by Beaird Glover.
Growing up poor and within a troubled family, Marcy Harris takes a job at a hospital cafeteria, and the monotony is killing her.
Then, on Christmas Day, she meets Syd McComb, a jet-cool punk rocker recently returned from a ten-year stay in Mexico, and Syd looks like all the trouble she’s been dying to get into.
Together they are as explosive as dynamite, and once the fuse is lit, they vent their frustrations with style, taking vengeance where it’s due and staying one step ahead of the disgraced cop who’s seething to catch them.
And they don’t feel guilty, doing what they do, because bad people should die—that’s just unconscious knowledge.
Unconscious Knowledge is a wild, roller-coaster ride of punk rock and toxic relationships. Enter Syd and Marcy -the former an exotic, alluring bad boy, the latter stuck in the endless grind of every day life – and watch their relationship explode into murder.
Glover doesn’t shy away from the macabre. Death is central to the story, as is suffering, and darkness. The main characters aren’t particularly likable, but you’re likely to start relating to, and even rooting for, them at some point.
How else to describe this book without giving too much away? It’s crazy. Think along the lines of Pulp Fiction, the internal monologue of American Psycho, the diary of any wild teenage girl, an inflammatory story you’d expect to read in The Sun. And we love these kinds of stories. They excite us, they remind us of every time we’ve ever lashed out because we’re sick of the rat race and people taking advantage of us. Deep down, we’re all Julia, Winston Smith’s lover in 1984, ready to stick it to The Man.
This novel is American in the extreme; it reminds me of the dark side of the American Dream, the slap you hear from behind a closed door, the rage that causes a teenager to open fire on a school full of children. Glover has created an action-packed story that attacks everything we secretly loathe, and inspires the rebel hidden inside all of us, as we sit at our desks for 8 hours a day, our soundtrack a dull tone of monotony.
Glover’s writing style is excellent, and his story will draw you in and take hold. Hold on to your hats.
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