I was reminded of this on reading the latest novel for the Curtis Brown Book Group. Steven Strauss, twenty-something PA to the charismatic (and now deposed) founder of Resolute Aviation, Raymond Ess, is on a business trip to India with his boss. Since the company’s decline due to the collapse of a prestigious deal, Ess has been on sabbatical, or possibly sick leave. Returning to work with renewed vigour, Ess has a grandiose plan to rescue the company through the purchase of a remarkable invention he came across by chance when lost in rural India. Of course Steven doesn’t believe in the antigravity machine, but he’s persuaded to accompany his boss on his quest to find it in order to keep Ess out of the way while Resolute Aviation goes into receivership. What happens makes Steven – and we, the readers – question the boundary between madness and sanity. In the absence of gravity, what would keep us grounded to the real?
This novel is also (as pointed out by one of the participants – Sophie Lally – in the lively online discussion) about the functioning of organisations in the post-modern age where resistance is subsumed by the system.
Congratulations to Anthony Trevelyan on such a wonderfully quirky debut novel: a highly accessible novel with multiple layers of gravitas. I only wish I had more time right now to mine those depths more fully. The Weightless World is published by Galley Beggar Press who furnished my proof copy via the Curtis Brown Book Group.
With only seven reviews in June (if you’ve missed any, you can check out the other six here), it’s been a quieter month for reviews than usual. But, rest assured, I’ve still been reading avidly: it took me over a week to read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch for my off-line book group and another few days to re-read Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre for the literary walk I’m leading at the weekend. But the blog’s likely to be quieter while my head’s so full of preparations for my own novelistic debut, now just over three weeks away. I do hope to keep up reviews of others’ books over the next couple of months, as well as sharing experiences of the publication circus on Annecdotal, but my priority will have to be the guest posts fellow bloggers have generously offered to host. Hopefully I’ll be able to share an itinerary of my virtual travels in a couple of weeks.