Good Samaritans by Will Carver was one of my favourite books last year. It was different, clever and very, very dark. Would ‘Nothing Important Happened Today’, Carver’s latest book be equally as good?
Nothing Important – the blurb
Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.
That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.
Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.
How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?
What a wonderful world
The opening is shocking (I’m thinking the Lovers in particular). 9 people walk to Chelsea Bridge and throw themselves off it. Why? What would make someone do that? The first few pages do confuse slightly as you quickly flit from one character to another. Stick with it though as the leads do become clearer and you start to get a grip on what is going on.
Carver examines the empty lives of these 9 people along with others who will follow in their steps. Be warned the subject matter – suicide – is not for everybody and the whole tone is of a society deeply unhappy with modern life. Social media, reality TV, macros, take aways, buggy fit, pills. All depressingly familiar buzz words for today’s world. All included in Nothing Important. Carver questions whether any of these things designed to make life easier/better actual make us happy or fufilled and it’s a bleak image.
No spoilers here
As with Samaritans reviewing Nothing Important is very hard without actually giving away the plot, which I won’t do as it will spoil it for you. Yes it’s clever like Samaritans. It’s dark (bloody pitch black if you ask me) like Samaritans and very, very different to anything else I have read. It doesn’t leave a pleasant taste in your mouth. It doesn’t fill you with hope. Yet it’s overwhelmingly gripping and on the money. How does he do that?
Thanks to Nobody
I understand that Carver has included the line ‘nothing important happened today’ in every one of his previous books (love this!) Have you found it in any of his books? My thanks go to Orenda Books via the Random Things Tours for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. If you’re wanting an antidote to an overdose of Christmas cheer, Nothing Important is the perfect, thought provoking tonic. We should learn from it, my fear is we wont.