A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better
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That line is one that Francis Hardesty tightrope-walks for the first half of the book, then falls off of spectacularly in the second half. The narrative is subtle and gradually reveals the relationship between father and son, and between the other characters. In this powerful novel about father and son, the author probes this vital relationship, showing how our children hold us to account, how we misunderstand what they want from us and how hard we struggle to avoid their seeing us fail. Without spoiling anything, the book trudges along until it explodes halfway and brings you upon a scene of devastation and the aftermath can only be lived on through the mind.
The prose is powerful and masterfully paced, the characters are real, and the author manages to bridge the gap between writing a harrowing thriller and a subtle inward-diving tale. I found it disappointing, unsuitable for the character, a little too neat, perhaps a little implausible. The day started with a pleasant enough breakfast: I made a pan of porridge and, as usual, teased her for the way that she pronounced it, pordge. His third book, A STATION ON THE PATH TO SOMEWHERE BETTER (2018), was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award and the European Union Prize for Literature. That is a weighty moral issue, and had Wood spent longer in that place, narratively, it would have made more sense.
It's similar in theme to his others, but it possibly the best yet with its tightly crafted plotline and convincing characters. There were other plot choices that I felt hadn’t been made the most of - for example, scattered throughout the story were excerpts from a children’s book, and whilst they had a literal place in the plot, I hoped the author would make more of them - there are some core similarities between our narrator’s story and that of this other book, but I hoped that would be explored in more detail - instead, it seemed to suddenly cut off towards the end, as though the author wasn’t entirely sure what to do with that strand.
Tony and Susan: путешествие с папой, которое так неплохо начиналось и сулило двенадцатилетнему герою множество радостных событий, превращается в золотую жилу для психотерапевтов. One August morning in 1995, the young Daniel and his estranged father Francis a character of two weathers , of irresistible charm and roiling self-pity set out on a road trip to the North that seems to represent a chance to salvage their relationship. The plot of The Artifex parallels Daniel’s journey, a device that might seem trite in less skilled hands, but here the elements are balanced perfectly. He is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, and the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel The Bellwether Revivals. More of this parallel wouldn’t have gone amiss: the point is that the show is about not just the line between reality and fantasy, but that between fantasy and insanity.A chilling study of male violence, framed by a horribly, almost unbearably, moving portrait of a dysfunctional father-son dynamic, it left me in bits. This is all the more impressive since the narrative is filtered through a boy’s mind, so that mounting fear about the father’s violence is fused with pity for the son’s initial trust and subsequent appalled dismay . His first novel The Bellwether Revivals was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize, and won one of France's foremost literary awards, Le Prix du Roman Fnac. This is the heart of a beautifully constructed novel: a portrait of a bad man, a very real, familiar bad man.
A story of a boy who was eager to form a bond with his rolling-stone dad; what he didn't know is that this bond would ruin his life forever. The richly textured narrative is subtle and holds quiet power which entrances, draws you in and before you know it you are in its grip.Whilst I appreciate that the story doesn’t end at the key event, but explores the aftermath and effect on our narrator’s life, the tone changed, morphing into a more prosaic and factual recount of many years.
Every phase of Fran’s moral slippage, from the false bonhomie and the phony assurances to the alarming upsurge of mania and muddle, is disquietingly registered. At times it is a domestic drama; a father and a son he doesn’t really know driving through England on a blisteringly hot summer’s day. Having achieved this transmogrification, Fran is now utterly free – and, to the reader’s horror, his emergence, like that of a fully formed butterfly from its chrysalis, does seem to be a kind of achievement, the fulfilment of some dark potential that has been building for decades. Quite surprisingly those events do not bring the story to a conclusion and the remaining 20% of the book takes us on a psychological exploration of memory, frustration and irresolution.Even though Daniel knew that his father couldn't be trusted, he chose to believe him, and this faith is reflected in the story of The Artifex itself - which is about a boy in the 1950s who befriends a woman he believes is an alien, but who is probably mentally ill. The gaps in knowledge and understanding allow the reader to fill in the blanks and the horror feels almost unimginable.