Acclaimed author John Burnside delivers a profound, page-turning novel about innocence, evil, morality, and the dark corners of the human psyche.
Mysterious illnesses affect the inhabitants of the post-industrial village of Innertown, and a pervasive sense of malaise hangs everywhere. So when teenage boys disappear into the poisoned woods surrounding the village’s abandoned chemical plant, no one notices, or if they do, they don’t say a thing. Not even the town’s only cop, whose leads have long since died. To one boy, however, the chemical plant is beautiful, and it is there he will enact a plan to change the fate of the children of Innertown. To do so he will have to confront the blinding reality that burns in the chemical plant’s cavernous center.
About the Author
John Burnside was born in 1955 in Dunfermline, Scotland. He studied English and European Languages at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. A former computer software engineer, he has been a freelance writer since 1996. His first collection of poetry, The Hoop, was published in 1988 and won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Other poetry collections include Common Knowledge (1991), Feast Days (1992), winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and The Asylum Dance (2000), winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award and shortlisted for both the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) and the T. S. Eliot Prize. The Light Trap (2001) was also shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize.
“Brilliant. . . . Beautiful and frightening.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Haunting. . . . [A] darkly beautiful meditation on death, guilt and redemption.” —The Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A deeply philosophical tale that goes right to the heart of existence and what one must to do, despite circumstances, to retain humanity.”—St. Petersburg Times
"Burnside builds mood and atmosphere with fearsome skill." —Chicago-Sun Times
"By turns beguiling, sinister, playful and never less than mesmerizing. . . . [The Glister] will haunt you." —Irvine Welsh, Guardian
"A hauntingly mysterious . . . story about disappearances and environmental decay." —Toronto Star
"Like a later day Jekyll and Hyde, Burnside can turn from luminous verse to prose that keeps you up at night. The Glister is such a novel." —The Financial Times