Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Field Review (Ed Brisson, Simon Roy)


A bloke wakes up in a field in the middle of the night in his underpants – who hasn’t been there, amirite fellas? And then a coked-up Bible salesman hustles him into his car - woaaah! And then bikers and Trekkie cosplayers are chasing them - wooooooooooooaaaaaaaahhh! What it could all woaaaaaaah! 

Yeah, The Field is a bit nutty. It’s surreality reminds me of The Twilight Zone, until we get to the third act and the whole thing falls apart. Up until then though it’s not bad, even if you have no idea what’s going on - in fact, I’d say the confusion is what I liked best about this book! 

The Bible salesman kills people at will in a series of very graphic scenes while the underpants man’s mobile keeps telling him things that are about to happen in the future - it’s weird but fun in a way. 

The flashbacks to a science experiment gone wrong were warning signs to me that we were about to get into cliched territory. How do you explain that the story if cyclical and repeats on itself in a time loop? Science! The guy’s a scientist, his colleagues wear lab coats, that’s all you need to know, don’t ask us for any more detail - look, a beaker! That means they’re smart and time loops could be real, right? 

And the thing about the same day repeating itself, a la Groundhog Day - why would everyone in that day remember everything that happened? Wouldn’t they just reset? Ah, it’s not worth thinking about, this book isn’t meant to be analysed!

The Field is an unusual story, and I appreciate that it’s trying out something different, but it gets carried away with its own zaniness and then tries hopelessly to tie it all together into a meaningful or coherent way at the end.

The Field

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