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Glow [Kindle Edition]

Ned Beauman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

London, May 2010. Foxes are behaving oddly. Burmese people are going missing. A new synthetic drug, Glow, has begun to appear on the streets of London. And Raf, a 22-year-old dog-walker suffering from a bizarre sleeping disorder, undercovers a massive corporate conspiracy . . . and falls in love.

Combining the pace, drama and explosive plot twists of a conspiracy thriller with his trademark intellectual, linguistic and comedic pyrotechnics, GLOW is Ned Beauman's most thrilling, virtuosic and compulsively readable novel yet.

Product Description


Unhinged, over-whelming and brilliant ... Beauman has taste: his antennae are acutely tuned to the stylish and resonant. (Independent)

A thoroughly enjoyable, playful read . . . The narrative hooks immediately, as does the language, which is often delightfully inventive. There are also surprisingly tender scenes that add depth and humour.

. . . Beauman has created a truly modern thriller that is as addictive as it is inventive.

(The List)

Beauman writes with panache. (Daily Mail)

Glow is an inventive, supercharged conspiracy thriller set in contemporary London with occasional forays to Burma and Iceland . . . Beauman is an admirably lean storyteller and the acrobatic plot flips time zones and swaps points of view with the frantic, fierce pace of a computer game. His hypnotic, dystopian portrait of an edgy, youthful London of pills, parties and pirate radio makes you long to be 20 and in the swim again. He's capable of startlingly economical lyricism - a fox's tail is a 'bic flame' - and is able to capture observational detail with such skill that it can take your breath away. Glow is a fast-paced, slickly plotted conspiracy thriller written by a talented and energetic young writer. (Melanie McGrath Evening Standard)

Exciting , engaging and most importantly, really fun to read... effortless while also feeling sculpted with wonderful precision (Stylist)

A good novel needs to immediately lure you in, taking away any excuse to seek entertainment elsewhere. On this point Ned Beauman certainly rises to the occasion...I can say, unequivocally, that Glow may mess with your head, but it is also addictively good. (The Times)

Stuff so good is restores your faith in fiction... Glow is also a thrillingly literary book: every page offers sentences that are a pure pleasure to read, rhythmic and witty, full of resonant variation. This is the real deal: no turgid lyricism here... Beauman is predictably excellent at managing the sinousities of his convoluted plot. But the real pleasure of Glow is to be found, as with all Beaumans' work, in watching his lucid, informed intelligence at work on the page. Beauman is a prodigy; he can do everything a novelist needs to be able to do .. and he does it all with such style that it looks effortless... It is the work of a writer who is already, at 29, something of a master. What more can you ask for than that? (Sunday Business Post (Ireland))

It is worth taking a moment to celebrate Beauman's great originality and skill... he is playful, arresting, unnerving, opulent, rude and - above all - deliciously, startlingly, exuberantly fresh. (Guardian)

Sexy and urgent (Literary Review)

Refreshingly hip (Bookbag) inventive supercharged conspiracy thriller... Beauman is an admirably lean storyteller... He is capable of startlingly economical lyricism and is able to capture observational detail with breathtaking skill (Spectrum, Scotland on Sunday)

Glow is elevated to another level altogether by its brilliantly inventive narrative style... I can't recommend Glow enough. (Learn This Phrase)

Complex themes are introduced not least tangents into neuroscience and Burmese history, but we are rarely disorientated for long. The twists when they come are unexpected and satisfying. (Observer)

It's exciting to witness someone mythologizing London with such brains and humour, shards of reality strung into something both synthetic and magical. (Daily Telegraph)

Beauman's writing is brilliantly funny and memorable. He doesn't just have an eye for detail but also chooses just the right words to give his observations a surreal twist. (Express)

Beauman's writing is extremely readable ... also interspersed with fantastic imagery and metaphor that made me laugh out loud at times.... Wholeheartedly recommend! (Blackheath Readers)

As breathlessly engrossing as any whodunnit. (Mr Hyde,

Describing a Ned Beauman novel is like describing a rainbow, or the smell of a garden after a rainstorm. Yes, it's just light refracting and wet earth, but these prosy facts can never convey how beautiful, how utterly evocative they are . . . A Ned Beauman novel is a bit like a conversation with the most intellectually curious person you'll ever meet, but not the kind you'd slowly edge away from at parties . . . Just be warned: one Ned Beauman novel will lead inexorably down a rabbit hole of immediately gobbling up his other two. Tell your friends you'll be offline for a while. (The Londonist)

Beauman's writing is dazzlingly inventive. (The Times)

I love Ned Beauman's novels. (Philip Hensher)

A singular and almost recklessly gifted, young writer. (Time)

Seriously intelligent and seriously funny at the same time. (Daily Telegraph)

A promising voice for the future of the written word and a force to be acknowledged in the here and now. (Dazed & Confused)

Gobsmackingly clever (Vanity Fair)

Undoubtedly a writer of prodigious talent (Financial Times)

Book Description

From the prizewinning author of BOXER, BEETLE and the Booker-longlisted THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT comes Ned Beauman's third and most thrilling novel to date.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 644 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1444765515
  • Publisher: Sceptre (8 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H4EPB0O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,229 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ned Beauman was born in 1985 in London. His debut novel, BOXER, BEETLE, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliot Prize and won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Fiction Book and the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction. His second novel, THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Encore Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. He has been chosen by the Culture Show as one of the twelve best new British novelists and by Granta as one of the 20 best British novelists under 40. His work has been translated into more than ten languages.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glow 1 Mar. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The main character in this novel is a young man called Raf, who lives in South London, has a sleep disorder and who is feeling lonely after breaking up with his girlfriend. When we first meet him, two things of importance occur – one, he sees a beautiful young girl, called Cherish, who he is immediately besotted by and two, he is offered the ‘new thing’, a drug called Glow. It soon becomes apparent that Raf lives slightly on the margins of society. His sleep disorder means that finding gainful employment is difficult for him and his main way of earning money is by working on computer programmes or walking the dog which guards the transmitter for a pirate radio station.

Mostly set on the streets of London, the story is really a global one; a delightfully woven mixture of various storylines, built around Raf’s longing for Cherish, the fact that his friend Theo, and owner of the radio station, disappears, a multinational company called Lacebark, mysterious Burmese people who suddenly seem to be everywhere, silent white vans who are dragging people off the streets, the drug Glow and lots of foxes... The author manages to take the familiar and turn it into something quite unique and original. In this novel he has taken big business, mixed it with politics and the drug trade and given us an everyday hero – a man more interested in parties, video games and recreational drugs than in fighting multinational crime. Before long Raj, his friend Isaac and a former employee of Lacebark called Mark Fourpetal, are attempting to find out the whereabouts of Theo and Cherish and discover what Lacebark are really up to.

This is a very entertaining novel and, like everything by Ned Beauman, highly original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I know your face 18 Nov. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the third, and most straightforward Ned Beauman novel I have read. After the description defying Boxer, Beetle and the looping swooping picaresque The Teleportation Accident, Glow is almost run of the mill. Had it been written by somebody else, rather than describing it as straightforward I'd be saying it was a psychedelic mind-bending crime caper, because, well, that's what it is.

Raf, a young man with a sleep disorder and a penchant for experimental drugs is at a rave in a laundrette in Peckham. Here he meets the enigmatic Cherish. He proceeds to give her some dodgy 'Glow' before she disappears leaving Raf wondering whether she ever really existed. After that things fall apart.

The head of the pirate radio station that Raf listens to disappears in unusual circumstances, and curiously, the station starts broadcasting a Burmese culture segment. When a crumpled man claiming to be from M16 starts talking about silent white vans plucking strangers off the street, Raf finds himself embroiled in a complicated corporate plot.

In the main I enjoyed Glow a great deal. It has that same askew world-view that Beauman brings to his other novels. It's the world I live in but it's described in a manner I've never contemplated before. His prose brings a freshness to the old and tired, and there are few things tireder than a inner London suburb. There is a wonderful theme running through the book of circadian rhythms. Various characters, for different reasons find their body clocks are out of sync with the rest of humanity. The way Beauman depicts these disorders makes them feel other-worldly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wheels inside wheels 11 Mar. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The "Glow" of the title is a new, and highly spoken of, drug which in 2010 London... nobody can actually find. Raj thinks he's obtained some but it just makes his friends sick. Fortunately, he doesn't take it himself because he's just met this great girl at a rave in a laundrette so he's OK. He doesn't know what the effect of knowing Cherish will be, or how dangerous things will soon get, or he might have stuck with the fake Glow.

The early chapters of this book reminded me of Beauman's last, The Teleportation Accident - specifically, the nostalgia for a lost time of better drugs, and the general atmosphere of rackety hedonism. 2000s South London might not often be compared to 30s Berlin, but Raj's circle of busy, pleasure seeking yet hard working chancers - Theo, who runs a pirate radio station, Isaac, who dreams of holding a real, 80s rave - could move seamlessly between the two.

But that's only the start. That meeting at the launderette leads Raf to a fast paced adventure featuring abductions, corporate greed, pharmaceutical hobbyists, great Burmese food and foxes - lots and lots of foxes. It reminded me of a techno-thriller like Cryptonomicon but with the tech background based on hacking drugs, rather than code - Raf and his friends show the same eye for an opportunity, the same drive, as Stephenson's tech entrepreneurs but grow on a different substrate. And as with Stephenson, this is a book about what might be, how stateless corporations might evolve, how stateless revolutionaries might evolve, how the whole world can come to a London backstreet.
It's a gripping story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Imagine Utopia meets Philip K Dick in hipster South London
I enjoyed Glow. The writing was very funny. It's a very easy read. It has the momentum of a good thriller, but an original and cliche-free premise. Read more
Published 25 days ago by D. Lloyd
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok if you're young.
My husband is finding this an easy thriller to read. However, as it is based around a drug and youth culture he thought it would be more suited to younger adult readers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lily
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, fast
The main character in this novel is a young man called Raf, who lives in South London, has a sleep disorder and who is feeling lonely after breaking up with his girlfriend. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andy O'Boogie
5.0 out of 5 stars very vivid, very, entertaining, very... glowy.
With GLOW, Ned Beauman has reinvented the international conspiracy thriller for a new generation.

A hostage exchange outside a police station in Pakistan. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ben Whitehouse
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious Prattle
Author Ned Beauman writes eloquently with evocatively metaphorical language that would make his novel ‘Glow’ worthy of a 5-star rating if the storyline could match the telling. Read more
Published 3 months ago by D. Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but not my favourite
Being one of the few (apparently. Opinions vary, but - The Man Booker people aside - they're mostly on the ambivalent end of the scale) who actually loved The Teleportation... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Book Critic
4.0 out of 5 stars Good not great
I enjoyed this and read it quickly. I did not find it as surprising or funny as The Teleportation Accident. The ending was a bit of a let down.
Published 3 months ago by Jonathan R R Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Glowing recommendation...
Ned Beauman does not disappoint. This is the third of his novels that I've read, and in many ways the style, delivery, and punch are all there, but how does one put it ... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cerebralai
3.0 out of 5 stars not quite for me
Glow is Ned Beauman's third Novel. The story begins May 2010 and our hero Raf is at a rave in Peckham about to try a new drug called glow for the first time. Read more
Published 4 months ago by xenofan
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
The author is obviously something with an interest in the underground of society and the place that the people who sit outside the system in both life and also within the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Christian
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