William Nicholson - Screenwriter, playwright and novelist > Novels > The Society of Others
The Society of Others
To escape the pressures of family life and alienation from his contemporaries, the unnamed narrator of this existential novel heads out from home to hitchhike without destination. But his journey soon turns into an orgy of violence. A truck picks him up and soon we are at a checkpoint in some totalitarian European state riddled with terrorists. The driver hands the narrator a slip of paper and then tells him to jump” he does, just before the driver is shot and the truck is blown up, revealing its cargo of books.
“He has nowhere to go. So he goes there.”
Thus begins a novel that is part spy story, part philosophical treatise, one that sweeps the reader along. Hypnotic, intellectually challenging, with all the pace and thrust of a thriller.
“A novel I would dearly love to have written… Exciting, funny, wise, and beautifully written…
Nicholson has to my mind established himself with this first work of adult fiction as one of the best novelists around.”
Piers Paul Read, The Spectator
“It is thrilling in every sense, but it is also hypnotic, fast-moving, and intellectually challenging and, as it twists and turns, leaving you confused, uncertain, even uncomfortable, and yet utterly hooked. A philosophical master class, it is quite staggeringly good.”
Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail
“Like a ratings-grabbing episode of Holidays from Hell… A thought-provoking testament.”
Andrea Henry, Sunday Mirror
“Nothing prepares you for the journey you undertake while reading this incredible thought-provoking novel.”
Waterstones Books Quarterly
“Alongside the action, you have a continual debate over ideas about as the blurb puts it the meaning of life. This is a rare book that does precisely what it says on the tin. This makes it a very un-English novel. There is nothing parochial or narrow about it. It puts you in mind more of a Camus or a Pushkin…. You turn the pages as your mind turns in circles following the mental games going on. It’s a challenge as well as a pleasure, but The Society of Others is a novel that demands attention.”
Peter Stanford, The Catholic Herald