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Glister

by John Burnside

What would it be like to grow up in a single industry town which has become an industrial wasteland? Can you see beauty beyond the decay and corruption and make a life regardless? And how do you cope with the rest of a dysfunctional population which dismisses (or can't deal with) the disturbing and mysterious events which occur with increasing frequency? This is an unsettling read which immerses you deep into an eerie modern fantasy.

Extract

The thing is, I know everybody says it's dangerous, that it's making us sick, and that they should have razed it to the ground years ago and cleared the entire eastern peninsula instead of just leaving it to rot - and that's all true. I know that, but you still have to admit that it's beautiful. Maybe there are more obviously beautiful places in Canada or California, maybe they have gardens and parks with clear lakes and honest-to-Betsy live trees with autumn leaves and all the stuff you see on television, but we don't have those things. All we have is the plant. We're not supposed to go there and I suppose most of the kids don't, but there are plenty who do.

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