Nobody True – James Herbert

Another one of the 3 for 2 books I got from Waterstones that pulled me back into devouring books.

I can remember my choice for the book as well, UK author, I love horror. Yet there was that book of his I read that was about fairies, nymphs and other such garden creatures, that was a stinker that hardly engaged me. Having said that there was Creed, that was a book that I remember to be really quite scary, grounded and very engaging, but that was a long time ago.

Okay…I’ll just get it. I remember that thought. Shame really.

I wasn’t there when I died reads the opening blurb for the back of the book. Frankly, I wish the same thing.

James True is a man who was having an out of body experience when he died. When he returned he found his body destroyed and there was no way back. So what should he do? What of the killer?

That’s about it. Safe to say that although the concept is really interesting, it’s lost by a style that stifles plot and character creation.

The first paragraph outlines much of the above, ensures you are grasped, up to speed with this great idea, then plunges headfirst into a long and drawn out ditribe of the main characters early life.

As far as I can recollect, it takes much of the first quarter of the book to actually get anywhere in the story, with the thumbed pages merely reinforcing the ideas you’d already captured by much of the initial pages.

This happens a lot. There’s a particular section I remember where the main character realises he has to be somewhere fast, if not, really bad things could happen to people he knows. Now, this would make you get somewhere fast, wouldn’t it? If you were a “spirit” like creature that realised you could travel merely by concentrating hard and that time tended to flip out on you, you would rush there probably by concentrating.

No. He decides to walk through the streets, more interested in the repetative fact that allowing real people to walk through him causes him to be upset. We are treated to quite a description of this, yet the character doesn’t seem to think what was the most urgent thing in the world two seconds ago is now important.

That is where the story started to loose me. The characterisation was slipping, and various plot twist do raise a few more questions about the continuity and how believable it all is, in the context of being drawn into a story of course.

I think another thing for me, and this might also go for my memories of the “fairy tale” book, is that events just happened to the character. They didn’t really need to get involved or do anything in the story, in fact the story would have probably continued without them. Perhaps the ending of this book would have been reached without the main character.

Still, for all these bad points, the idea is quite good, and I did read to the end. However, I can’t decide if that had been fuelled by my new found reading drive or not. It may well have been the fact that books 1 and 3 in the 3 for 2 offer (figure that one out!) were excellent.

Amazon UK book details

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