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Glow Hardcover – 8 May 2014

44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444765515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444765519
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Palmer on 8 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For some reason, I've been struggling to finish novels, it's a testament to this one that I read it all in a couple of sittings. Clever, well plotted, believable and achingly cool, I can't recommend this more highly. Wonderful stuff.

Raf, a young man from South London, has a rare sleep disorder which means his circadian rhythms don't run along the same sort of lines as other people. This has an impact on his ability to be a reliable worker or to form serious relationships. He spends his days working for pirate radio stations and programming.

This leads him into the world of Glow, a new recreational drug on the streets of London. It's a mystery where it comes from, but the mystery seems linked to the murky dealings of a multinational company which seems overly obsessed with a number of Burmese living in the capital.

Beauman handles the various threads of the story well and it's certainly not an embarrassing read, given some of the subject matter.

Well worth your time, recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ned Beauman is a quirky, inventive writer. He writes with an immediacy, a sense of playfulness. Much of his material is quite surreal and ever-so-stylised.

So with Glow, we find ourselves in a pastiche of an urban lad-lit novel. Young men hop from bedsit to bedsit doing drugs all night and crashing in cafes all the day. They sleep around and don't have proper jobs. You know the genre.

Unlike the pulp fiction it emulates, Glow buries itself in huge pharmacological levels of detail and includes surreal undercurrents involving white vans, foxes and Burma. Add to this a chap called Raf who has a rare sleep disorder causing him to operate on a 25 hour cycle, a pirate radio station, a Staffie called Rose and a heap of soundproofed warehouses popping up all over the place. It's mad.

After engaging the reader for about half the novel, where intricate conspiracies within conspiracies just about stay intelligible, the novel just gets too clever for its own good. One paradigm shift too many and the reader is lost, bewildered and there's no way back. The bluffs within bluffs within bluffs are technically incredible, but end up disengaging the reader.

It's a pity, because at its heart there is a good novel trying to break out. The back story of multi-nationals shafting Burmese farmers; the corporate greed and cynicism; the industrial espionage could have worked if only it had stayed within some sort of limits.

The ending is a whimper - two codas tacked on that don't seem to lead anywhere or originate from anywhere. Clearly some significant changes have happened, but they happened in a drug fuelled blur and it feels like a cop out.

The ideas make the whole novel worth reading (just about), but it is liable to leave the reader feeling frustrated that the execution was not as elegant as the concept.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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.
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