Updated on September 15, 2016
43. ‘Thirst’ by Benjamin Warner
I like a good ‘what if’ story. What if dragons existed? What if everyone went blind? What if a man got stranded on Mars with only a potato for company?
Thirst is Benjamin Warner’s ‘what if’ thriller, and it asks the question: what if all the water disappeared? The book follows Eddie, a regular man who lives in the suburbs of a city and who must deal with the fallout of a mysterious accident which has left his neighbourhood without water – from the taps and in the rivers.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I thought Warner built the tension very well and very realistically. It seems totally plausible that people would attempt to stick to normality for as long as possible, and it also seems plausible that we would all descend into anarchy quicker than we would like to believe. In the beginning the neighbours sympathise with each other and there’s a strong ‘we’re all in this together’ spirit, but it doesn’t take long for suspicions to creep in and for small divides to become impassable chasms. I also thought Warner did an excellent job of portraying what happens to a person when they are thirsty, and the lengths they will go to, in their desperation, to find water.
There are dollops of fantastic drama throughout this book, and some genuinely shocking moments, especially when a slightly odd man called Bill Peters gets involved. Eddie and his wife team up with their neighbours Mike Sr and Patty, but a disaster involving their neighbours’ son leads to some truly horrific consequences. Things unravel quickly for the central characters, but at no point was I shouting at them to do anything (obvious) differently – Warner effectively sets up an impossible situation (“Do I stay or do I go?”) and while I was reading I honestly had no idea what would be the best course of action, or what I’d do in their situation.
There’s a quote on the front of my copy that says: “Worthy, shocking, poetic”. I think the first two certainly apply, but I can’t really agree with ‘poetic’. Although the writing style is fast-paced and breathless, it is also quite simple. This is great for moving on the story, but I found it was only really beautiful in small snatches. At the points when Warner tried to get poetic and dreamlike for longer stretches I found that he lost me a bit. Still, this a solid, exciting story with plenty of action to keep you reading and a satisfying ending. I enjoyed it!
“The whole great universe of night screamed around him.”
Have you read this book or are you planning to? I’d love to know your thoughts!
Want to read this? You can buy the book here.