📖 21 | 30
⏲ Read time: 3-5 minutes
In Jonathan Lee’s High Dive, the audience follows the paths of three unique characters that intertwine into one event: the 1984 bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton.
The bombing was a real-life thing that actually happened. Five people died while 31 more were injured. The bomb was planted nearly a month in advance before detonating by a fellow named Patrick Magee, who went by the alias Roy Walsh. It was intended to kill Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and members of her cabinet. Prior to reading the story, I wasn’t aware of this event, so I guess in hindsight, it did really feel like a fictional piece.
The three fictional characters we are introduced to are Dan, Moose and Freya. Dan is a young IRA explosives expert who wants to help fight for the cause. Moose is a former diver who watched his dreams wash away and manages the Grant Hotel as the deputy manager in pursuit of the general manager position. Moose’s daughter Freya is a young woman in the middle of discovering what she wants to do with her life.
This was a tough one to get through, and not because of its context. I struggled to pay attention throughout the story and if anything, it easily put me to sleep… literally. I can’t account for how many times I dozed off at night while reading it. The concept of the story, marrying fiction with nonfiction, was intriguing, but I just couldn’t buy into it.
Often, I felt very confused with the storyline as we followed the paths of the three characters. A lot of the context didn’t seem to flow for me and in general, I felt as if I was just reading this for the sake of finishing, not because I genuinely enjoyed the story.
In theory, I love the idea of marrying fiction with nonfiction, but for me, I just couldn’t get into this particular event. It’s not to discredit Lee’s writing style, which to me, seemed a lot like a Chuck Palahniuk story. It just didn’t hold my attention.
Rating: 2 out of 5