A Heart of Darkness for our times.
Freyn is 106 and has a final story to tell. He lives in the Delta where Stansted Airport used to be – a wasteland where all London’s unwanted end up, sloshing around in the chemical spills. Walter is out there from the city gathering information on strange new lichens, but it is Freyn’s story that fills his days – the story of his fall.
Freyn had been washed up once before – in Roraima in 1939, a colonial outpost in central America where he was working for a shipping company. He is instructed to journey into the jungle to collect two thoroughbred horses from Luchenne. Everyone is afraid of Luchenne. At the Temhari Club they say he’s gone ‘native’. Freyn’s dangerous journey into the interior, his audience with the mad Luchenne and rescue of the horses is the core of Jay Merrick’s extraordinary first novel, a frightening tale of madness and despair.