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A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better

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Sometimes the bubbling undercurrent of impending violence felt like rambling, but at a point, you realise you’re totally enraptured in the development of the plot. Benjamin Wood is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at King's College London, where he teaches fiction modules and founded the PhD in Creative Writing program.

When we meet Fran it is 1995 and he has come to fetch his son, Daniel, for a planned excursion to the television studio near Leeds where the boy’s favourite sci-fi series is filmed. This is not a light or an easy read and it's far more than a mere thriller though the tension mounts inexorably through the first part of the book. We know that something bad is coming, we don’t know what and we don’t know how, we just have to strap in and follow along. How what happened back in his childhood has taken over his life from that point, and it was something that was indeed big enough and important enough to do just that, but the way he hasn't dealt with things properly did sadden me and I really felt for him and mourned for the adult he could have been had things been different both during the trip and soon afterwards. W]ith his third novel, A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better, Wood’s talent has burgeoned spectacularly.From its bucolic Buckinghamshire beginnings, to its bloody be-bop near-denouement, A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better simply will not let you go. The richly textured narrative is subtle and holds quiet power which entrances, draws you in and before you know it you are in its grip. He is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, and the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel The Bellwether Revivals. Dan listens to the cassette, read by Maxine, as they travel north towards the TV studio, where Dan’s been promised a look around the set and the chance to meet the stars. Daniel Jarrett/Hardesty narrates the story as a memoir, starting in 1995 when he is due to leave on a road trip with his father, Francis (Fran) Hardesty.

The main character tells the story of his childhood into adulthood as he reflects on how he manages the memories that no one would wish for. Without spoiling anything, the book trudges along until it explodes halfway and brings you upon a scene of devastation and the aftermath can only be lived on through the mind. I really enjoyed Benjamin Wood's previous two novels, The Bellwether Revivals and The Ecliptic, but I think this is his best so far. Daniel is a huge fan and this trip is not only a long overdue chance to spend time with his father but it’s also an opportunity to visit the set and meet the stars of his favourite TV programme as Francis works on the show and has promised him a guided tour. Slowly, the author reveals the relationship between the characters and unveils the father's erratic, unreliable and unpredictable personality.In it, Daniel thinks back to 1995, when he was twelve years old, and went on a road trip with his estranged father, the dishonest, womanising, yet charming Fran.

It's a strange tale but really fitted in with the rest of the narrative rather than being distracting. The final section focuses on Dan in the present, burdened by the dread thought that he is his father's son. Important: Your credit card will NOT be charged when you start your free trial or if you cancel during the trial period. Dan, in adulthood, relates the story of his final days in the company of his father, a feckless and unthinking parent who tries to do the right thing but whose selfishness and obduracy turn events from mishaps to disasters and ultimately into tragedy. Tony and Susan: путешествие с папой, которое так неплохо начиналось и сулило двенадцатилетнему герою множество радостных событий, превращается в золотую жилу для психотерапевтов.Most of all though, Wood’s skill is the subtlety and compassion in his writing and the gradual reveal; for much of the first half the reader is lured along, intrigued by what might happen next. Even with 12-year-old Daniel’s limited interaction with his father, he knows not to set his expectations too high. because the writing was good, the lack of the other 3 because it was like trying to walk through treacle, a sad slightly pointless plot, unlikeable characters.

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