Everything Is Sinister – David Llewellyn

If you read this book without knowing the author then you could think that Llewellyn might be a very dark individual indeed and he’s not he is really lovely. Now before you read this you should know that I do know the author in question and the fact that he is a really lovely guy doesn’t mean that I am going to give him a stunning review. No matter whether I know an author or not I will give you a completely unbiased review of the book as that’s what my aim is with this and I don’t want people thinking that I show favouritism. I will say that if you meet an author you like and they are nice it makes you want to read more of their books. Sorry I needed to address that!
Anyway regardless of the above let’s get on with the review of Llewellyn’s second novel. Actually if you include the Torchwood novel that he wrote for the BBC as a Torchwood tie in then this is Llewellyn’s third novel and all these novels have come out within the last three years. His first novel ‘Eleven’ was a brilliant and unusual debut telling the story of 9/11 from the perspectives of people emailing each other in an office miles and miles away from New York as the tragic events unfolded. With that in mind I of course had high hopes for this novel and I wasn’t disappointed.

‘Violence is the new language. Celebrity is the new currency.’ Its 2010 and Ed Raynes is the chief showbiz correspondent for The Voice of the People the UK’s biggest selling tabloid magazine where tales of MP’s and their affairs make headline news daily. Ed Raynes is covering Lockdown the nations favourite reality TV show where the contestants are locked in a disused prison the winner achieving vast amounts of money and fame. Ed Raynes knows a shocking secret about the favourite to win and is beginning to think that there is something wrong with the industry.

After a cruising opportunity involving a skinhead that goes very wrong and becomes and act of violence Ed quits his job and becomes a recluse. His only escape from the flat is the TV, internet and the food delivery man. The longer he stays inside and more TV he watched he realises that it’s not the industry, there is in fact ‘something wrong with people’. Ed’s life soon becomes a mission to save the world and civilisation, a mission that nightmares are made of where the only sane people seem to be the mad ones. One thing that I like about this book particularly is the fact that the lead character happens to be gay but he isn’t stereotyped in any way, if he hadn’t been cruising maybe he wouldn’t have become a recluse but that’s just great plotting. There is a very funny filthy story about a politician and a rent boy for those of you who might like that sort of thing.

There is also an edge to this novel that that was also in ‘Eleven’ Llewellyn’s debut novel about 9/11. The writing is simply superb. Llewellyn I honestly think is one of our most promising talents in fiction as well as in terms of being a gay author. Whilst reading I got slight feelings of J.G Ballard, Irvine Welsh, William Burroughs and Haruki Murakami as there is a very surreal feel to what is a gripping modern storyline.

Don’t go thinking that this is another one of those books that is taking the mickey out of the whole celebrity culture and obsession that we seem to have nowadays. ‘Everything is Sinister’ is as dark and troubling as it’s title suggests. David Llewellyn has done a fantastic job with a subject that many people are making a farce of. This is a dark brooding novel that looks at humans as a whole and what could happen to society in the not to distant future if reality TV and celebrity take over the world the way they seem to have in the last few years in particular. Though the whole idea of this going to lengths it does could seem unreal left in the hands of some writers I could totally believe that this could happen in the next 12 to 18 months. David Llewellyn is a name to watch out for, a serious talent I look forward to the next one.

There will be an interview with the author on here this weekend so watch out for that!
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~ by greatgayreads on August 8, 2009.

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