- File Size: 424 KB
- Print Length: 247 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 17, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JSA2J0W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,617 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Necropolis Kindle Edition
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Dyson works for the local council, responsible for cemeteries and burials. It becomes quickly clear that while ambitious, he loathes working for the people he does, the people he has to work with. Now, anyone who has ever worked for the local council (or even in any office) recognises a lot of the characters described immediately. The power-hungry, the sad ones without a social life, the lazy ones. The author has a wonderful way of describing them with wit and morbid humour, and I couldn't help but literally laugh out loud. But Dyson has a very dark streak to him and I kept wondering whether that's all in his mind (think American Psycho here!).
The plot is around Dyson discovering that one of the people working under him looks very similar to war criminal who is being sought by an International Court. Can he hand him over and pocket the large reward sum to escape his humdrum life? But what you will mostly enjoy will be the characters he meets. In the middle of the book there is a rather explicit sex scene which came a bit unexpected for me (as Dyson didn't really talk dirty in his mind before), but it does fit in with his psycho character. I just came as a bit of a surprise for me.
Now, none of us would like to think that we would require the services of a cemetery one day, but we all will do. Great little book and quickly read, I would recommend it to anyone who works for the Local Council or even in an office. Great lunchtime reading, I'll promise
I usually dislike present tense narrations and find them wearing and artificial but this story dragged me headlong into it to the extent that I rapidly forgot my dislike. It's a story I couldn't help reading. It had an inevitability to it, which made reading it like watching a train crash. There's a gory bit, brace yourself, but I can't say I've ever read a book quite like it - and I more than quite like it! I really enjoyed this.
Necropolis by Guy Portman is a black comedy featuring a classical unlikable protagonist that you’ll both love and hate. His barbed observations of society and its cultural icons will have you laughing and shaking your head—sometimes in agreement. Great book to read when you’ve been marooned by the east coast blizzard of 2016.
There were times I thought the author strove for shock factor, but I was later forced to reconsider this idea. As an example, at one point Dyson engaged in a fairly risqué, drug fuelled threesome that was described in some detail. My first reaction (remembering that I rather like a little erotica in my fiction) was to roll my eyes and tisk at the pointless inclusion of base titillation. That is until I realised the whole thing was relayed with as bland a recitation as Dyson's appreciation of pastel shirts or distaste for custard creams, and far less virulence than his abhorrence of the cat-in-heat howls of Celine Dion's music. This is not to say it or any other aspect of the book was boring, but that Dyson's normal human affect was somewhat lacking and the event therefore held no more importance that a stale repast refreshment or daily grande cafe latte extra hot with soy milk from Starbucks.
And here-in lies the genius of this book—the dichotomous nature of what Dyson sees/thinks/does and the considered visage he presents the world, all contradicted against his utter disinterest in those same individuals. As readers, we are never told Dyson is a sociopath (other than in the synopsis). We are SHOWN his personality disorder in everything he does. It's subtle but unmistakable. He never remembers names, dehumanises individuals he particularly dislikes ('cause he dislikes almost everyone) as 'it' and, even surrounded by the moribund accoutrements of death daily, is unmoved by it.
There is a lot of dark humour here. Dyson is, after all, a well-educated, intelligent, witty man. A lot of this humour is at the expense of the proletariat masses and their/our common, recognisable lives. Disturbingly (considering Dyson's obvious social imbalance), I agreed with a lot of his opinions—the repugnance of the X Factor as a form of entertainment, the forgeability of the Kardashians as a clan, the omnipresence of banal office chatter, the wretch-inducing encroachment of kitsch tat into otherwise somber environs. All of this makes Dyson a frighteningly relatable, though completely unlikable character. Think Dexter with a British accent.
All of this is wrapped in wonderful prose, interesting speech patters (that never got on my nerves), good editing and a satisfying conclusion. It was an all out win in my books.