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Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver @will_carver @orendabooks @annecater #NothingImportantHappenedToday

November 4, 2019

Source: Review copy
Publication: 14 November 2019 from Orenda Books
PP: 287
ISBN-13: 978-1912374830

Nine suicides

One Cult

No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.

How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

I am completely buzzing to be on the blog tour for Will Carver’s original, stark and compelling novel. A beautifully written, coruscating book whose pages dazzle with acute observation and scathing wit, Nothing Important Happened today is a dazzling work of fiction that should be on everyone’s reading list.

You can read my review here.

Today I’m pleased to give readers the opportunity to read the Prologue and some of the opening chapter of this fabulous book, just to whet your appetite. So please, sit back and enjoy….

PROLOGUE

Nobody cares anymore.

By the time they get to him, nearly a year has passed. The public have lost interest, moved on to something new. Some old schizo takes himself to the woods to commit suicide. So what? How is that a loss? How is that news? Schedule it as an afterthought.

You put a gun to your head and squeeze the trigger, there’s no time for second-guessing. You jump off the roof of a multistorey car park, it’s difficult to back out when you’re twenty feet from hitting the concrete.

There’s a strip of duct tape on the ground that he ripped off his face when he changed his mind and tried to call for help. Nobody came. There are scratch marks on his wrists where he tried to escape and some abrasions on the tree from the handcuffs. The key that was thrown out of reach is somewhere beneath the leaves.

Who gives a fuck? Some stupid, old fool wanders into the forest, tapes his mouth shut and handcuffs himself to a tree. He throws the key away so he can’t get out. And he waits to die in a long, drawn-out and painful way. So what?

It was his choice, right?

His decision.

Here’s the kicker: the idiot strapped himself to the trunk with his hands above a branch. He couldn’t get the cuffs lower than three feet from the ground. So there was no way to lie down on the floor when he needed to sleep.

When he is found, his wrists are bearing the full weight of his body. His left shoulder against the tree trunk, his head lolling forwards, the fronts of his legs dragging across the floor, his back unnaturally arched. There are marks on his body from animals who only found him because he shit his pants repeatedly in those first four agonising days.

The silly fool with a note in his pocket saying that he is the last one. A person of choice. That it needed to be done in this way because he had to not want to die.

Otherwise it wouldn’t count.

But nobody cares.

It’s over.

Nobody will know who he was.

Nobody will remember his name.

The guy is a goddamned Nobody.

PART ONE

CULT

225–233

We don’t have to say go.

Or jump.

Or count down from three.

We just know.

For we are The People of Choice, the ones now with courage. And we choose not to fear.

You know us. We’ve stocked your supermarket shelves. We’ve poured you coffee. We water your plants and feed your cat while you are on holiday.

We couldn’t possibly be in that group. That crazy cult. No way. Our boys play football together. We are your neighbour. We are your nephew. We are your daughter. We recommended that film you liked so much.

We are everywhere.

And we leave our homes and workplaces from the various dots across the capital and congregate on Chelsea Bridge as arranged, none of us offering a formal introduction, nobody speaking at all. Our paths have crossed on numerous occasions – nothing worth noting; nothing to dwell on.

We are just nine lives.

Nine personalities.

Nine problems.

Nine decisions.

We each received our calling this morning, the verification of our membership. A letter that confirmed our importance, our place in history; the continuation of this legacy. We all read that it was our time and knew immediately where we should meet and when. We knew what to bring and how we should use it.

We are one solution.

This is not the beginning.

We are but nine more.

Four of us approach the self-anchored suspension bridge from the south, Battersea and beyond. Five from north of the river come via Chelsea and Pimlico. For some, this is not the closest bridge to their house, but this was the agreement.

It must be here.

We know what to do.

Those from the south arrive at intervals, each wearing the same expression, each with a choice, each passing a bearded man with a video camera aimed in the wrong direction, ready to capture nothing important to the west. Missing an opportunity.

One becomes two and two become four until all nine of us are sitting, motionless, gazing to the east, waiting for the moment. We don’t count down; we don’t speak.

We don’t have to.

We just know.

And we stay seated for a while, perched on the great steel box that runs the length of the bridge on both sides of the road, overlooking the path ahead and the river beyond. This is our time for final contemplation.

This is our moment of selection.

We sat behind you in class. We washed your car while you went shopping. We employed you. We are your father. We gave you that recipe for shortbread. We stitched your daughter back together when she came off her bike.

And we open our rucksacks at the same time, still seated on the cold metal, still looking out across the blackening water; the bulbs that illuminate the elongated M-shaped suspension create a matching W in the pool beneath. And we put on our black jumpers.

Each of us pulls our head through first, leaving the hood up.

The Lovers.

The Ungrateful.

The Poet.

We all slide our arms in.

Left, then right.

The Doctor.

The Nobodies.

And Young Levant.

Our decision has been made.

We don’t have to say go.

Or jump.

Or count down from three.

We just know.

Orenda Books                 Hive Books                       Waterstones                    Amazon

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

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One Comment
  1. Thanks for the blog tour support Mary xx

    Like

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