Reading Group Center

Good and Evil, Guilt and Redemption in The Glister

The Los Angeles Times describes John Burnside’s novel The Glister as “a darkly beautiful meditation on death, guilt and redemption,” and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Those may sound like weighty themes, but they’re also the most rewarding for discussion, and this is one selection that won’t disappoint.

Mysterious illnesses affect the inhabitants of the post-industrial village of Innertown, and a pervasive sense of malaise hangs everywhere. So when teenage boys disappear into the poisoned woods surrounding the village’s abandoned chemical plant, no one notices, or if they do, they don’t say a thing. Not even the town’s only cop, whose leads have long since died. To one boy, however, the chemical plant is beautiful, and it is there he will enact a plan to change the fate of the children of Innertown. To do so he will have to confront the blinding reality that burns in the chemical plant’s cavernous center.

Interested? Browse our free reading group guide for The Glister here!

Or, read more of what the critics are saying here.