Blog Tour: The Daves Next Door by Will Carver

A disillusioned nurse suddenly learns how to care.

An injured young sportsman wakes up find that he can see only in black and white.

A desperate old widower takes too many pills and believes that two angels have arrived to usher him through purgatory.

Two agoraphobic men called Dave share the symptoms of a brain tumour, and frequently waken their neighbour with their ongoing rows.

Separate lives, running in parallel, destined to collide and then explode.

Like the suicide bomber, riding the Circle Line, day after day, waiting for the right time to detonate, waiting for answers to his questions: Am I God? Am I dead? Will I blow up this train?

What I Thought:

How ironic that the cover of Will Carver’s latest novel is black and white, when nothing in The Daves Next Door is black and white AT ALL!

This book is really like nothing else I’ve read this year and I am struggling to accurately describe it – we learn quite early on that a terrorist incident has happened in London in the near future, but as we meet each of the main characters it’s unclear how each of them fits into the puzzle of this event.

Each character has a definite voice, but the narrator in particular is compelling as his sections are more like a stream of consciousness. He’s asking readers for answers that we just don’t have, but he’s also not telling us everything. Is he a god-like figure? Or has he been programmed to feel that way? Will Carver lets us discover this on our own, but his timing is impeccable, revealing all at just the right time.

The narrative is tangential, shooting off to seemingly unrelated things, but we’re drawn back by the narrator to question our judgements on what we’ve just read – have we made assumptions based on our societal conditioning? Have we automatically assumed that the terrorist is Muslim? Is he? Is he even a he?

Will Carver asks so many questions about the modern world, but what struck me the most was that all of the stories can be boiled down to dealing with the disconnection of families. I’d be interested to know whether this was influenced by life during the pandemic, as there is a real sense that a lot of what was happening in the book could have been avoided if there was more connection between Saul and his son, Vashti and her brother and one of the Daves and his children.

This book is intriguing, frustrating and upsetting, but I think that’s the point. It’s confrontational, unapologetic and will have you thinking long after the last page.

The Daves Next Door is published by Orenda Books.

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. His previous title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

This post is part of a blog tour celebrating publication of The Daves Next Door. Check out some of the other fab bloggers taking part below:

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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