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Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Hybrid Kindle Edition
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Christopher Ward is a struggling novelist whose early success has slowly but surely run away from him. Now he spends his days working on a book that nobody wants to read, or publish, and his despondancy and general bitterness towards a literary world that doesn't seem to need him anymore sends him spiralling into madness.
Or so it seems.
Pages of his latest opus churn out from his printer, but he has no knowledge of how they came to be. Hutson's eponymous protagonist, Sean Doyle, is lent to Ward as a fiction within a fiction, and goes about his Anti Terrorist business with the now expected, nay, ubiquitous, fervour, blasting away IRA gunmen, drawing the wrath of his long suffering superiors, and even finding time to fight a few Islamic Fundamentalists along the way.
But as Doyle's imagined life spews forth from a machine that Ward is sure he turns off every night before he retires, Ward's real one is falling apart like a badly structured plot; not something that Hybrid could be accused of.
The "apparitions" come at night. The madness gestates by day. The clever locking together of each story, with Doyle hurtling along at 100 miles an hour, only to be interrupted by Ward's more sedate, but equally intriguing, plotline, means that any fan (or indeed those unlucky enough to have never read a Hutson tale) just has to read that little bit more before putting the book down.
Criticism has been levelled at Hutson in the past for his stripped down prose, but the flowery efforts of other writers in the genre just couldn't match pace with Hutson's relentless bombardment of the reader's imagination. A quick glimpse into the mind of one who has just finished one of his books would no doubt show a landscape drenched in blood, sweat and testosterone with every cell grinning like a buffoon between the still smoking bullet holes, each on the size of a man's fist, naturally.
Simply put: Simply brilliant.
The story within a story was better, but still lacked something. If it had been written as a proper novel, it could have been quite engaging, but the necessary short length gave it a rushed feel, and the interruptions really broke the flow of the story. I think stories within stories work better when they are all told in one go, or at least in chunks larger than a few pages.
One thing I did enjoy about the novel was the ending (kindly spoiled for you by a previous reviewer - if you've not read this book yet, don't scroll down!) Its a shame this book wasn't better overall - I've never read a Hutson novel before, but I get the impression he's not a bad writer. This book just didn't work.
In the past, people have accused Shaun of boycotting horror in favour of writing thrillers. With Hybrid, I think he's pleased everyone by skillfully covering both areas.
The book itself consists of two stories - Sean Doyles re emergance and a struggling writers nightmare. The two work side by side perfectly, just as you reach a pivitol point of one story, your attention is drawn to another which is equally as thrilling.
I love (and always have loved) the way the books are broken down into short chapters, this adds to the flow of the book. Each chapter is like a shot of good scotch, before you know it you've drunk half the bottle!
Thanks again Shaun for a good story, this is one of the best in my opinion. As always, can't wait for the next one.
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