Terror Trip is original in its concept and unconventionally written and so I am not really sure how to categorise it, except to suggest it is a “literary thriller”. I do believe though, that like me, the reading public are open to a more ‘fluid’ genre of novel today. It is the story of how Gabriel Scrivener overcomes his paralysis of self-doubt on a terrifying train journey from London to Brighton. However, each of the characters on the journey has a story to tell.
Contemporary issues such as social and cultural identity and division are themes as well as an attempt at capturing the Zeitgeist within an interesting story. I believe that I have handled the novel’s controversial subject in a tasteful way and that the novel does work as a cohesive whole.
Whilst studying English at University, I very much admired the device of each character narrating their point of view as used in The Sound and the Fury and in Rashomon. As well as those literary greats, I also very much enjoyed the wittiness of the various narrators in Talking It Over by Julian Barnes. The device appealed to me when Terror Trip was forming in my mind and I felt it was right. However, I have taken it beyond a device and the story is driven by each character’s point of view in real-time.
Two disparate groups of friends clash as they travel in the same compartment on the London to Brighton train. During the course of an hour or so their lives collide as they travel toward their destination. Things escalate to a much more terrifying pitch as two Jihadist Brothers enter and threaten to blow up the train if their demands are not met. Previously at odds, the two groups of friends are forced to join forces in an almighty battle against them. Each passenger narrates the story from their point of view and they all have a memory which is triggered and comes to mind.