FREE READ î Burnt Island

10 thoughts on “Burnt Island

  1. says:

    This is uite a slow burner of a story that gradually creeps up on you as it does Max Long a struggling author offered a uniue and somewhat unusual chance by an unknown benefactor to spend three months on Burnt Island focusing on his writing But as the days pass he finds that there is to the island than meets the eye and that his benefactor may not have his best interests at heart after all While I really liked this story I did find Max increasingly annoying as time went on especially when he realised that something was not uite right but he stayed anyway personally I would've been swimming to the mainland if I had to Putting this aside though this is a good story with the feel of the horrors of the '70s the Wickerman in particular springs to mind

  2. says:

    I'd read the blurb for this book – writer applies for a fellowship on a Scottish island and mysteries ensue – and noted the price three bucks on Kindle and took the plunge I mean I've spent on bad coffee let alone good spookinessImagination is a terrible thing Max It perverts reality You can lose yourself in it Not realise what’s really happening to youThis is good spookinessAlice Thompson's brief novel tells the story of Max a writer of several mostly unsuccessful novels He wins a place on a remote Scottish island populated by well island people and soon finds himself drawn into various intriguesOr are they intrigues? Max is under the gun and needs to produce a best seller – no symbolism thanks very much – during his stay on the island He's stressed He has writer's block And his home life has disintegrated in an acrimonious divorce He's stressed and who doesn't hear that little voice within rationalising every little thing when they're stressed?ExactlyIt doesn't help that Max ends up staying in the home of a reclusive writer – an architecturally designed fortress owned by a Great Man Of Literature who had one masterpiece and hasn't yet followed it with anything Fame is on hand even at such a remote locale Max is constantly pressed up against the high tide mark of publishing successThe story unfolds in the finest gothic manner There's a lot going on which could be absolutely nothing – or it could be something a lot lot worse A liminal zone the supernatural or at least the unnatural seem to leach into island life ratcheting up angst accordinglyI'm uncertain why so many reviewers seem to dislike this novel It's an excellent examination of the self lacerating gig that is writing and of the wankery that is the publishing world I enjoyed the sort of outsider where they're not wanted vibe the novel has a kind of bookish riffing on The Wicker Man or The Magus True the tale is short on detail or slavish backstory but the effect far exceeds what I'd expected It's a delightfully creepy little read that enjoyably combines psychological horror with weirdnessBurnt Island is something I devoured uickly I find however the memory lingers

  3. says:

    Hard slippery little sentences make up this satire of the writing life Read here

  4. says:

    An island as a holiday retreat a voluntary escape is a relatively new idea In old days you could find yourself on a faraway island most probably after a shipwreck If you managed to reach the land your fight for a survival had only began Books and movies love to fuse these ideas and for example in Danny Boyle’s cult movie “The Beach” a dreamy paradise soon turns into a violent hell Long story short an island is the perfect setting for an erotic horror story Tempting yet claustrophobicIt has been a while since I had such a good laugh while reading a book The sixth novel by British writer Alice Thompson “Burnt Island” kicks the literary world wittily in the balls Struggling writer Max Long decides to write his next book with a completely different approach He will calculate each step to create an easy to read bestseller He gets a place in a writing residency and travels with a ferry to the Burnt Island soon to discover that he will live with one of the most successful writers of his time in his beautiful mansion overlooking the seaWill poor Faust so thirsty for a breakthrough sell his soul to Mephistopheles?The thin line between the reality and imagination becomes even thinner Max continues to blame his over creative mind while the island secretly writes its own set of rules Is it the place that creates our thoughts or is it the other way round – we see what we believe?Alice Thompson had the idea for “Burnt Island” while being in a residency on Shetland islands She experienced the sense of an island so strongly that she wanted to bring it into a bookThe creeping claustrophobia where the infinite horizon all around the island ceases to inspire and starts to suffocate is described similar to what happens in the head of a writer where imaginary worlds line up like beads on an infinite string The painting on the cover of the book “The Solitude” by Salvador Dali is very fittingSea monsters deadly sexy sirens the horrible sheet of paper “white as an Ahab’s whale”; the book is full of sea references and it is a strange pleasure to stumble upon them while walking on the slippery underwater rocks Although the gothic story gives you shivers on a hot summer day most of the time the satiric prose makes you laugh out loudEspecially when Max hiding behind the dunes discovers that his literary agent is a blood sucking monster

  5. says:

    This strange and clever little book is incredibly meta in terms of both plot and meaning as it follows an author in his attempts to write a book but is in fact a very allegorical take on the writing process itself Thompson affectionately takes a satirical jibe at the notion of penning a 'bestseller' as the the main character talks of wanting to write in a very unimaginative structured by the books way so that his next book will tick all the boxes of 'the next big thing' the the plot becomes bizarre and events spiral out of all normalcy and control as though Thompson is herself acknowledging why she's never likely to top the bestsellers listIt has a playful edge with the atmospheric and intrigue building opening feeling very much like a classic horror story an isolated island setting a down on his luck protagonist mysterious goings on with the locals etc and even has several references to other such works including du Maurier's The Birds The character creates a checklist of dos and don’ts for writing his bestseller including 'no symbolism' and 'no metaphors'; the irony being that this book and Thompson's work in general is practically nothing but symbolism and metaphors This is emphasised when the character then writes 'no one likes a book they can't pigeonhole' as that is precisely what this isThe language is simple and understated with flashes of real beauty that create impact particularly when describing the setting ie 'The view through the massive window faced west over the sea and the sun setting over the horizon flooded the room casting a pink hue over the white furniture like slanting sunlight on snow'Ultimately this is a book written for writers examining in a creative intelligent and darkly abstract way the nature of imagination and how it is both a writer's blessing and a curse being in essence a cautionary tale about the danger of being increasingly drawn into your own world; how distant this can make you from reality and how destructive that can be

  6. says:

    Wasn't keen on this I found the plot very predictable and the dreamlike uality that increasingly took over seemed to be a tool for not finishing up loose ends than anything else

  7. says:

    Another writer of the Tell don't show schoolThanks but no thanks

  8. says:

    Alice Thompson Burnt Island Salt Publishing 2013If you are a fan of books about writers and horror novels you have probably read this setup a number of times before a novelist suffering writer's block is offered space and time to complete his new novel by another writer Writer A gratefully accepts finds his host to be charming if a little off and then over the next few days comes to believe that writer B is putting him up in order to have him finish the book kill him and publish it under writer B's name It's not an original premise but few things are in the horror world these days and so whether or not it works comes down to style Burnt Island has got itself style in spades and it draws inspiration unless I miss my guess from a place or two one doesn't normally see in this sort of thing The result is maybe a few steps short of greatness but it is uite goodMax Long has been struggling with his new novel a horror piece for a long time As these things sometimes go he can't figure out how to get past a sticking point He's also having problems in his non professional life; his marriage has come to an end and he misses his child something fierce An offer of a fellowship on Burnt Island seems like just the thing and when long arrives he finds it almost impossibly bucolic The only problem the island is also home to James Fairfax a much popular writer and one Max has always considered a rival It soon comes out however that Fairfax is behind the fellowship and the two of them start spending time together It doesn't hurt any that Fairfax has uite a lovely maidPA and Max is on the reboundIf the idea of “protagonist goes out to secluded island and is seduced by someone close to antagonist” sounds familiar well you don't have to look any farther than The Wicker Man It strikes me however that Burnt Island draws from The Wicker Man's source material Ritual Not necessarily in any plot points etc though there is a mystery to be solved and it has the same sorts of choking tendrils that consume David Hanlin the inspector who would become Sergeant Howie in the film version but the greatest debt Alice Thompson owes to Ritual is its atmosphere and the interloper's reaction to it There is something off about the island in both cases and we have a protagonist who spends far too much time trying to make the island conform to his view of it rather than trying to adapt to it Burnt Island's conclusion is a good deal less ambiguous than Ritual's; whether you consider this a good or a bad thing is left to the individual reader uite interesting and worth your time if you've a thing for supernatural mysteries

  9. says:

    A chilling gothic novel set on Burnt Island itself where writer Max Long falls prey to the possibly supernatural forces of the island as well as other human forces The story is well written with a fast moving pace and interesting characters I found I got involved very uickly and it left me with a rather haunted feeling which remained long after finishing the book

  10. says:

    This is a diverting read though it gets silly towards the end which for me makes it lose any real sense of being chilling Also funny and scathing in parts about the writing world I'd give it three and half

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READ ã E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Alice Thompson

Burnt Island

Struggling writer Max Long arrives on Burnt Island to work on his next novel There he encounters bestselling author James Fairfax whom Max suspects of not being the real author of the book that has made This is uite a slow burner of a story that gradually cre


Le he witnesses disturbing visions that take the form of the horror he is attempting to write Is Max losing his mind or his soul? What is the truth about Fairfax? And what is the secret of Burnt Island? A chilling gothic novel set on Burnt Island itself where

READ ã E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Alice Thompson

His fortune Further Fairfax's wife has gone missing In a desperate bid for success Max decides to compromise his talent by writing a horror bestseller Recently divorced and increasingly mentally unstab Wasn't keen on this I found the plot very predictable an

  • Paperback
  • 224
  • Burnt Island
  • Alice Thompson
  • English
  • 09 October 2020
  • 9781907773488

About the Author: Alice Thompson

Alice Thompson is a Scottish novelistThompson was educated at St George's School Edinburgh then read English at Oxford and wrote her PhD thesis on Henry James In the s she played keyboard with rock band The Woodentops She has a son and lives in Edinburgh Her novel Justine was the joint winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize She has also won a Creative Scotland Award in .