The Wrecking Ball by Christiana Spens

Synopsis from the back cover:

The Wrecking Ball intimately follows four friends as their summer reaches a crescendo of music, heat and hedonism. Rich and degenerate, Alice, Harry, Rose and Hugo traverse the clubs and crevices of London, music festivals disturbing the English countryside, parties in Manhattan and break-downs in hotel rooms. A satirical glimpse into a world of excess and distress, The Wrecking Ball is an invitation into an intoxicating swirl of parties, trips and debauchery. As the jet-set crash and madness dominates the glaring summer, the dream of decadence becomes a nightmare of consequential decay. The Wrecking Ball is the low-down on the comedown of a generation: what happens when the party ends?

The Wrecking Ball is a highly intimate but artistic view of a fast paced high life spiralling inevitably downward for four young people caught up in a world of fashion, parties and abuse. The novel follows each of the four narrators as they describe their constant attempt to mentally break free from the confines of the pressures of society, becoming oblivious to the world through the physical abuse of drugs and alcohol. They sweep along moment by moment, surviving the lows only by making it to the next high, and disregarding the accumulating, inevitable conesquences of living dangerously. Surprisingly, if not disturbingly honest, Spens’ beautiful prose illustrates a raw, constantly moving insight into how destructive the high life can really be, and touches on the more philosophical desires of people striving to understand themselves and what life can or should be.

Perhaps the only possible downside is the lack of individuality of the characters, in that just by reading their voices I wouldn’t be able distinguish them. They all spoke with the striking articulation of the author and so seemed to blend into a hazy unanimity. This also has upsides, however. It unites the four main characters into one solid perspective of the world, which in it’s own way strengthens the picture the author portrays. Each character, despite the unanimous voice, has his or her own personal demons to face, be it drugs, family, inability to make connections, and a more fundamental desire to find a place in it all, something universal to every reader. A highly unique and compelling read; darkly sublime.

8/10

Published by: Beautiful Books

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