A disillusioned nurse suddenly learns how to care. An injured young sportsman wakes up find that he can see only in black and white.
A desperate old widower takes too many pills and believes that two angels have arrived to usher him through purgatory.
Two agoraphobic men called Dave share the symptoms of a brain tumour, and frequently waken their neighbour with their ongoing rows.
Separate lives, running in parallel, destined to collide and then explode.
Like the suicide bomber, riding the Circle Line, day after day, waiting for the right time to detonate, waiting for answers to his questions: Am I God? Am I dead? Will I blow up this train?
Shocking, intensely emotive and wildly original, Will Carver’s The Daves Next Door is an explosive existential thriller and a piercing examination of what it means to be human … or not.
This was Will Carver at his absolute best. I have never read anything more original, more engaging and completely off the wall than The Daves Next Door.
Yes there were characters, no there wasn’t much speech, just one long blow your socks of monologue that questioned a vast array of what is wrong and right in todays society.
It all started with a security report, a multi faceted terrorist attack on London that had already happened, neatly swung back to the before as Carver systematically stripped back the why.
He started with the Daves, stuck in a loop of paranoia, fear, mental health dwindling down the proverbial drain. It did confuse me a little until bit by bit Carver unravelled their trauma and it all slowly began to make sense.
Vashti was one of my favourites, a nurse who had lost that spark, work a chore, all feeling pushed to one side. Her relationship with her patient, the sportsman was interesting, his ability to only see Vashti in colour, the rest of the world in grey. It was such a fantastic way for Carver to show the sportsman’s despair at his career ending injury, Vashti the one shining light, the beacon he gravitated towards, the one who could drive him on to full recovery.
Saul, the sad widower, death the only option until the two ‘angels’ his two lodgers, offered a path to his beloved wife Ada. His son, Ash the son wracked with guilt at his dereliction of care towards his Father, who suddenly acted to rectify only to make the ultimate sacrifice.
And what about Carver’s narrator? The man on the tube, the man who watched those around him, who waited for the right time do what he was chosen to do. He was Carvers ultimate mouthpiece, the one who questioned his characters motives, their inner psyche. Who was he, Carver asked us? Was he God, the all seeing, all knowing figure so many believed or was he a man poised to change the lives of many, the beliefs of others systematically placed in his brain, the power to change lives at his fingertips.
To me he was whatever you wanted him to be, Carvers genius instrument that questioned, cajoled the reader to dig deep, to question our reality, wether that be how we see things or how wider society views life.
The ending brilliantly captivated it all, a glorious conclusion of winners and losers, of epiphanies, enlightenment and despair.
Thank you Will Carver for once again pushing the boundaries, of being brave and skilful enough to not write the usual thriller but instead to be that off beat deep thinker we all love.
I would to thank Orenda Books for a copy of The Daves Next Door to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, The Beresford is out in July. His previous title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.