Hunters in the Dark

hunters in the dark cover image Hunters in the Dark

Lawrence Osborne
Hogarth Press
Hardcover, 320 pages

This one has been compared to Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, Paul Bowles, Evelyn Waugh, and Ian McEwan. That’s pretty good company by our lights and this powerful novel delivers. A late-20’s Sussex teacher heads for Thailand ostensibly for a break from his seemingly dead-end life. He crosses the border into Cambodia and wins a bit of a bundle in a casino, intersects with a number of Khmer characters, is befriended by a calculating American, and falls in with a Khmer woman. The slow and languid plot unfolds almost as a meditation (with periodic eruptions) and flows like the dreamy, winding Mekong River that provides the setting. This one of the best new novels of the year.