‘The Suicide Club’ By Rhys ThomasMar 30th, 2009 | By admin | Category: Books
Rhys Thomas’ debut novel, The Suicide Club is a haunting story centered on a group of disaffected teenagers who, under the guidance of a manipulative leader, decide to embark on a suicide pact. With great wit and an unwavering eye for muddle and adolescent drama, the novel is a pitch-perfect portrait of teenage disaffection that sets boy against boy, imagination against reality- and, untimely, life against death.
Craig Bartlett-Taylor was always trying to kill himself, but when he took an overdose at the back of Mrs Kenna’s classroom, Richie thought he’d finally succeeded: it was a real-life Worst Case Scenario. But then the new kid, Freddy, steps in and saves Craig’s life, and for Richie the lure of this mysterious newcomer is irresistible.
Freddy is like nobody Richie has ever met. Dark, sardonic and dangerous, he gives flight to Richie’s imagination, introducing him to a way of life he’d never thought possible. But when a night-time prank goes gut-wrenchingly wrong, Richie begins to question Freddy’s motives, and all too soon he finds himself committed to a sinister pact, with inescapably tragic consequences. It’s true that Freddy saved a life – but could he take one, too?
The term “Emo” is short for “emotional” in teenage speak, and it is the adjective that the narrator of this grisly debut novel uses hesitantly to define himself, although, he is quick to add, he does not much like being shoved into categories at all. In typical teenage fashion, he is struggling with a labile identity.
“I’m a normal kid, and I have a good soul,” the narrator tries to convince himself. But Rhys Thomas shakes concepts of “normality” to the core. It is a challenge indeed for an author to capture authentic teenage dialogue, and Thomas struggles with an irritating and inconsistent colloquial style, but this is nevertheless a very compelling subject matter.
After reading this, many will eagerly anticipate Rhys Thomas’ next novel with intrigue and curiosity.