I’ve actually just come out of a darkened room to write this review. I’m a little bit shaken and I’m most definitely stirred. I’ve just been on a deliciously dark journey inside the mind of Will Carver as I read “Nothing Important Happened Today”. Be warned, this is MAGNIFICENT but your head will be rather wasted by the end!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
When strangers take part in a series of group suicides, everything suggests that a cult is to blame. How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?
A shocking, mesmerisingly original and pitch-black thriller from the critically acclaimed author of Good Samaritans.
‘Thrilling and completely original, Nothing Important Happened Today deserves to become an instant classic’ Kevin Wignall, author of The Names of the Dead
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 described Will’s last book, Good Samaritans, as literary crack cocaine such was the reading experience. So I was kind of nervous to read this one. What if it wasn’t as addictive…what if it was more addictive…what if I was just about to fall into the clutches of an addiction worse than anyone could ever imagine!
I purposely didn’t read anyone else’s review about this book before I started my journey. I wanted to enter unscathed, clean and fresh…I had no clue how I’d come out the other end. Well here I am at the other end and now I’m just lost for words. How do I even write a review that begins to do justice to this novel?
I’ll start off by stating the obvious, if talk of suicide upsets you then just don’t read the book. The author makes it quite clear from the beginning that the subject matter is extremely dark. However, if you are ok with dark then pick it up and step inside the deliciously dark mind of Will Carver for 276 pages…
Chelsea Bridge, London and nine people jump to their death. Who are they and why did they jump? To know this you have to understand The People of Choice. The most extreme and terrifying cult that ever existed or was it?
Will introduces is to each of the characters, each receiving a letter, each of them knowing what they are to do next. As readers we watch from above, like a peeping Tom as they each receive their calling.
This is an original and I have to say mind blowing, exploration of manipulation and control. It pokes and prods at the society we have created. It examines the notion of cults and how communities can create a cult through their own fears and prejudices of what they don’t know.
Fake lives, social media, rotting relationships, dysfunction and despair are all laid bare for us to gaze at like the rubbernecks at the sight of a crash. He rips apart social media, it was extremely poignant as I read some of this on mental health awareness day, and he explores the dependency created by social media, the desire for likes, loves, followers and friendships, the filters we live behind and the very real impact all this has on mental health. Look behind the filters and the likes, what’s really going on? The lies we tell others, the lies we tell ourselves.
Will Carver somehow makes his unique narrative work. There is almost a feeling of frenzied panic as you start to read, at first you may feel confused, almost as though you were in one of those magic mirror maxes at the funfair, not sure of what you are seeing or which way to turn, when all of a sudden the penny drops, you calm down and it all begins to make perfect sense. The panic turns to reflection…of society, of your life and of yourself.
I feel dirty, I feel as though I’ve been defiled in some way after reading this book. My head is spinning and my mind is completely fucked! This book wheedles its way inside of your head, an insidious malicious darkness probing away at your thoughts. Candidly truthful attacks on social media and the filtered lives we lead, it really causes you to sit up and think.
It is fast and it’s pacey: it is relentless in its shocks: if Samaritan was literary crack cocaine then this one is a literary acid trip, visual, visceral and violent in its dark truth.
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Nothing Important Happened Here can be purchased via
About the author:
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, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.