Posted 20 hours ago

A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better

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He torments himself with this and on trying to apportion which parent is responsible for which personality trait. On the road, Daniel listens to an Artifex audiobook, and passages from it augment the narrative but add nothing. A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better brilliantly reveals the process that leads up to that turn. It's important too as it served to ground Daniel, keep him going if you like, something comfortable to rely on when things were going astray. Up to this point, Fran has been one of those ruthless, charming men who know what they want, moment to moment, but have no big picture.

There’s a final section where we see Daniel as an adult, with a beloved partner, and realise that the book has been driving, all along, towards the question of whether he can bear to be a father, whether it is irresponsible for him to taint a child with the bloodline of a mass murderer. Meanwhile, the horror is heightened by the fact that we see all this through a child’s eyes: as if in some terrifying pantomime, we want to scream at Daniel to do something, anything – and then remember that he is only a boy. Dan listens to the cassette, read by Maxine, as they travel north towards the TV studio, where Dan’s been promised a look around the set and the chance to meet the stars. The book is a tremendous achievement, an unputdownable domestic thriller that is also subtle and moving . He is Albert, walking through the normal world after experiencing a totally different, frightening, scarring perspective on it.This book had a gripping first half; the build up to the major incident was packed with suspense and tight writing, and although slow moving, this rammed up the intensity and urged me to read on. Wood effectively creates a manipulative, shitty ex-husband and self-centered absentee father in Francis Hardesty; the opening pages, where he arrives to collect Daniel for a road trip whose purpose is, for a while, unclear, cement his unreliability in our minds.

The first two thirds of this are a powerful depiction of the devastation caused when someone ‘flips their lid’.

Even with 12-year-old Daniel’s limited interaction with his father, he knows not to set his expectations too high.

I found myself checking the % marker on the Kindle with every page in the hope that I was nearing the end.This appears to suggest that the only way to avoid catastrophe is to endure a narrow, self-limiting existence, to keep one’s head down and play safe. Awkward conversation and digs about Daniel’s mother and their relationship, hints at an unhappy marriage with infidelity, drunkeness and violence mar every conversation and thought. Daniel’s trip with his father is punctuated by the audio book (on casette tape) of The Artifex, a story about a young boy who when he becomes seperated from his siblings in a forest is found by a woman who says she is from a different planet. The destination for their trip is Leeds, in particular the Yorkshire Television studios where the children’s TV series, The Artifex is being filmed.

Still, when I think about that August week and what transpired, I know it is the fault line under every step forward I try to make. Rambling and dragged out with excrutiating padding; in particular, the interminable excerpts from the dreary children's sci-fi story that the young protagonist is obsessed with - thank you for putting these in italics so I knew when to start skimming. He excels at writing with the voice of a twelve year old boy, and the book is tense and chilling throughout, with just the right amount of foreshadowing. The book starts off like any family drama, a steady rise in tension showing the aftermath of a family break-up. A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better is a deeply psychological story with creative twists that shock and captivate.If it hadn't had been for Europa Editions publishing this, I most likely would've never come across his work. I understand I can change my preference through my account settings or unsubscribe directly from any marketing communications at any time. Contrary to expectations, he appears on time and they go, sticking the first part of the book "The Sorceress" in the cassette player.

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