Review: Glister – John Burnside

glisterOkay, so I realised when scrolling through my blog that I hadn’t actually posted this. I was looking for it and then, realised I had saved it as a draft and never published it. Oops! Anyway, I read this in September and it’s better late than never, right?!

This was read for my book club, I decided to read The Dumb House first and have already reviewed that but I couldn’t wait to pick this up because John Burnside’s writing was just incredible. I was also more excited to read it after Jen interviewed him and he said this was his favourite.

Glister was just as incredibly written. It is however a book I wish I could give a rating for writing and one for story, because they’re very different in my mind. The writing is beautiful, it’s rich and the atmosphere is great. It’s lyrical and you can tell that John is a poet, just by the flow of his words. The setting, a desolate town that is decaying because of an abandoned chemical plant had such a potential for me. I just didn’t feel that the story reached that potential. It’s listed as mystery/crime and I just didn’t feel that – nothing was resolved, the plot dwindled off and while I love his writing I wanted more. 

I enjoyed reading it, it was lyrical and simply great to read but the plot was disappointing, it just dwindled off to nothing. If I could rate the writing it would easily be a 4 or 5, but the book as a whole can only be saved by the writing so much so it’s a 3, unfortunately.