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3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  1,186 Ratings  ·  165 Reviews
With GLOW, Ned Beauman has reinvented the international conspiracy thriller for a new generation.

A hostage exchange outside a police station in Pakistan.
A botched defection in an airport hotel in New Jersey.
A test of loyalty at an abandoned resort in the Burmese jungle.
A boy and a girl locking eyes at a rave in a South London laundrette . . .

For the first time, Britain's m
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published May 8th 2014 by Sceptre (first published January 1st 2014)
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Nov 16, 2014 Greg rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, foxes
Once again the British cover of a books beats the American cover. C'mon publishers, Foxes sell books!
Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

The biggest challenge involved in reviewing a Ned Beauman book is knowing where to start. His stories are such eclectic mixtures of different characters and situations, with so many wild tangents and twists, that I feel it would probably be easier to just write 'expect the unexpected' and leave it at that. However, apparently the point of writing a positive review is to persuade other people to want to read the book... So here goes.

Glow starts wit
Oct 20, 2014 Aditi rated it liked it
From MDMA to LSD to an unusual drug called, Glow, the book speaks about those hidden secrets of organic chemistry behind the making of these powerful drugs, that its bound to amaze and surprise you in a million ways!

Glow! - Surprise, guess what it's a Burmese drug, made from the petals of a Burmese flower. Glow by Ned Beauman is an intriguing and a quite unusual tale of a young insomniac guy whose life turns upside down when a scandal and speculation begins around a certain drug called, Glow a
Richard Derus
Mar 29, 2016 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
New review! GLOW, over at my blog for a few weeks:

It's got financial, social, chemical chicanery! It's got doomed love! Alfred A. Knopf publishes Ned Beauman's third, very accomplished novel.
Rebecca Foster
May 20, 2014 Rebecca Foster rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-bookbag
An insomniac gets drawn into south London’s criminal underworld in search of the origins of a new Ecstasy-like drug. What might it have to do with his neighborhood's sudden profusion of Burmese people – and hyper-intelligent foxes?

This is Beauman’s most contemporary story, after the bizarre World War II time-travelling of Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident, and in some ways Glow is refreshingly hip. The chemistry of drugs is a theme that surely capitalizes on the success of Breaking Ba
Damian Dubois
Jul 13, 2014 Damian Dubois rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Coming in at only 249 pages, Glow is a book that should have taken me two days to read, three days tops. Well, that number got blown out of the water as it's taken me a grand total of 18 days, or close enough to 14 pages per day! I think overall too many things just got in the way of Glow - the imminent arrival of the new bub (who at the time of writing this still has not made her much anticipated appearance - stage fright methinks!), long hours at work due to financial year end, the World Cup i ...more
Ned Beauman is a brilliant creative author. There are scenes in this book that are outrageously funny, and his depiction of the London drug subculture is richly detailed. Yet at times the book reads like an pharmaceutical text book.

The story line becomes convoluted at times almost like a keystone cops movie, some of the situations our POV characters encounter feel contrived and over done.

What I liked most in the book were the back stories of the minor characters and the adventures of Rose the d
Feb 23, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
The main character in this novel is a young man called Raf, who lives in South London, has a sleep disorder and who is feeling lonely after breaking up with his girlfriend. When we first meet him, two things of importance occur – one, he sees a beautiful young girl, called Cherish, who he is immediately besotted by and two, he is offered the ‘new thing’, a drug called Glow. It soon becomes apparent that Raf lives slightly on the margins of society. His sleep disorder means that finding gainful ...more
May 27, 2014 Nick rated it really liked it
(Declaration: we're sorta friends now - in the sense that he's a nice guy and we end up doing events together because showrunners tend to put us up at the same time, but we haven't met more than four times - so I'm biased here. Also, I got sent this book by the publisher. See my remarks on bribery in my review of Samit Basu's "Resistance" for what that means to me.)

This book is like cramming a block of milk chocolate and LSD laced with drug-smuggling and corporate malfeasance directly into your
May 02, 2016 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorieten, recensies
Bij uitgeverij Nieuw Amsterdam, de uitgever van Glow, werd een aantal maanden geleden een hevige discussie gevoerd over de Ned Beauman, en meer precies over zijn boeken. Beauman’s eerste boek Boxer, Beetle (niet vertaald) stond in 2011 op de shortlist voor de Desmond Elliott Prize en in 2012 op de shortlist van de Guardian First Book. Zijn tweede boek De jacht op AdeleDe jacht op Adele (oorspronkelijke titel The Teleportation Accident) stond in 2012 op de longlist voor de Man Booker Prize en won ...more
Maya Panika
Nov 19, 2014 Maya Panika rated it liked it
Being one of the few (apparently. Opinions vary, but - The Man Booker people aside - they're mostly on the ambivalent end of the scale) who actually loved The Teleportation Accident, and Boxer, Beetle too, I was hoping for more of the same from Ned Beauman, but Glow is very, very different. This is - at its most basic - a whodunnit conspiracy thriller with additional pharmaceuticals (an awful lot of the latter). Lots happens (not going to spoil): most which concerns criminal multi-national ...more
Jun 05, 2014 Jenna rated it liked it
Although this is an entertaining read and typical of Ned Beauman's style in his needling attention to the minutiae of his subject, it is very much lacking in comparison to his first two novels. Where they punched the reader into a historical terrain of sex and depravity that made you cringe and laugh at every turn, this merely plods along retaining the readers' interest without inspiring it.

One of the main downfalls I felt was the characters. The lead male was flat, the 'love interest' appeared
I guess I would get more out of this manic book if I was a little more keen about neurochemistry or about drugs or about corporate evil. I'm keen about none of them and therefore not the target audience. But still, the whole thing was fun and short enough to keep me reading. This is my first Ned Beauman book, and I liked it sufficiently to think it's high time I picked up The Teleportation Accident.
Peter Allard
Nov 11, 2015 Peter Allard rated it liked it
A corrupt mining company in Burma stumbles across a new drug, glow, for which it wants sole distribution. Its operation moves to London were a local lad gets involved with Burmese revolutionaries to thwart their plans. Interesting, but not many thrills for a thriller.
Jesse Coulter
Jul 15, 2014 Jesse Coulter rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
People seemed to either love or hate Beauman’s last work, The Teleportation Accident, and though I belong firmly to the former camp, I can see why. The narrative jumped all over the place temporally, geographically and thematically. The characters were horrible pieces of work, all thoroughly unlikeable, and it was a strange piece of writing stylistically; an odd mash-up of noir, historical novel, sci-fi and some other elements. For me, it worked incredibly well and was probably my favourite ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Alexandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
This book was provided to me by the publisher at no cost.

I am not the target audience of this novel. It revolves almost entirely around the drug-taking sub-culture in south London, and that's definitely not my scene. Nor am I particularly enamored of the brisk yet also sometimes fastidiously detailed sex scenes, nor the veering between sparse details on one page and then extravagant description on another. I admit I skimmed portions of the novel.

The fact that I skimmed is actually a back handed
Judy Abbott
Işınlanma Kazası'nı sevmemiştim. Bu da içimi sıktı bıraz, yer yer lafı çok uzatıyor. Bir daha Ned Beauman okumam.
Marie Graßhoff
Feb 01, 2016 Marie Graßhoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sub
Wow, ich liebe dieses Buch! Rezension folgt! :)
Robbie Bruens
I loved reading this even if some aspects of its authorship and style made me a little sick to my stomach. Located somewhere in the nexus of tech-addled science obsessed cryptothrillers bounded on one side by the high literary ravin' Thomas Pynchon and on the other side by the more prosaic and pedestrian (read: clear and accessible) Max Barry, Ned Beauman's Glow is full of intellectually excited ideas and some of the most beautiful and sophisticated metaphors I've read by any contemporary Englis ...more
David Harris
Apr 04, 2014 David Harris rated it it was amazing
The "Glow" of the title is a new, and highly spoken of, drug which in 2010 London... nobody can actually find. Raj thinks he's obtained some but it just makes his friends sick. Fortunately, he doesn't take it himself because he's just met this great girl at a rave in a laundrette so he's OK. He doesn't know what the effect of knowing Cherish will be, or how dangerous things will soon get, or he might have stuck with the fake Glow.

The early chapters of this book reminded me of Beauman's last, The
Greg Zimmerman
Feb 19, 2015 Greg Zimmerman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(First appeared at

It's still early, but Ned Beauman's zany romp of a novel Glow is my favorite 2015 book so far. Beauman is one smart dude — and this novel reads a bit like what would happen if Tommy Pynchon (yeah, I call him Tommy. It's cool, we're boyz, remember?), Haruki Murakami, and Irvine Welsh all collaborated on a novel.

I loved Beauman's previous novel The Teleportation Accident, and while Glow might not be quite as good in total as that effort,
Ara Orido
Apr 12, 2015 Ara Orido rated it liked it
In Glow, Ned shares a story about About Raf, a 22-year old radio dj who also suffers from a

25 hour sleep disorder. After Raf's friends were kidnapped by mysterious Burmese men, Raf uses

his sleeping disorder to his advantage by using his time awake to find clues about the men.

Meanwhile he learns that this new drug Glow, has been affecting animals and people and he ties

it back to the kidnappers. Raf, meets this girl Cherish, who isn't who she seems to be after he

asks her about "Glow". With hi
John Braine
Nov 10, 2015 John Braine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2015
Glow is a mysterious new drug popping up on the rave scene in London. Raf has a rare disorder called non-24-hour-sleep-wake, and guards the transmitter of pirate radio station. Raf's friend has vanished. Urban Foxes are acting strange. And corporate conspiracies are afoot.

As much as I’ve mentioned the fact that I know when I won’t like a book regardless of how much other people rave about it, it works the other way too; sometimes I know I’ll like a book even though I keep hearing negative comme
Alexander Rigby
Jun 28, 2015 Alexander Rigby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, I must admit I am a huge Ned Beauman fan. Even though I have only loved one out of the three novels he's had published, I've enjoyed all the pieces he's written immensely. Seeing as this novel is a follow up to what I believe to be his best book (The Teleportation Accident) I knew that it was going to be difficult to improve upon, and although Glow isn't as good a novel, it's still one worth reading. Beauman's writing is highly clever, original, and it makes you think about the kinds of ...more
Dane Cobain
Feb 28, 2015 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

I wasn't too sure what to expect from Glow, because the blurb is mysterious and somehow draws you in without explaining what you're actually going to get. At first, I was cautious - the story was a little slow to start, but when it did start it was like a punch to the face. Beauman is a writer of talent, and the ending paved the way for a potential sequel, so I've got my fingers crossed there.

Perhaps most fascin
Sep 15, 2015 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Given the rich language and imaginative setting of this book, I had hoped to be more transported by it. I was initially intrigued by the main character, Raf, a part-time artist and full-time seeker of enhanced experiences who also happens to suffer from a syndrome that puts his sleep cycle out of phase with the rest of the world. Then the book got into the ins and outs of a new street drug, Glow, and the forces behind it and I ended up a little lost.

It's hard to put my finger on what failed to
Aug 10, 2015 Sub_zero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2015
Teniendo en cuenta que Beauman es autor de uno de los libros más divertidos, irreverentes e inclasificables que se han publicado en los últimos años, esta segunda aproximación a la obra del joven escritor británico encierra un decepcionante saldo comparativo. En efecto, no es Glow el mejor sucesor de ese monumental El accidente del teletransporte que cabría esperar, pero aún así conserva algunas características interesantes que la convierten en una novela muy loca, imprevisible y camaleónica, un ...more
Book Riot Community
This is a zany romp of a novel that takes us from the London nightlife to a nefarious mining company in Burma, all told with Beauman’s signature flair for language…and out-and-out goofiness. It’s a novel that’s hard to summarize, simply because the plot is so madcap — unscrupulous public relations people, a gay Serbian gangster, mysterious ghost foxes, and so many drugs. This novel feels like what would happen if a drunken Thomas Pynchon novel mated with a Haruki Murakami story strung out on ...more
A novel about psychedelic paranoia told by an insomniac drug addict who embodies Big Lebowskian slacker dude-ism just didn’t do it for me. Sure, there’s something to be said about Glow 's roughshod whimsy and manic imagery (yay, foxes!), but I couldn't get into it. I felt like the designated driver at the bar on New Year's Eve: everyone's tipsiness around you makes your own sobriety seem depressing. I’m sure there’s a complexity here that would blow my mind if I just stuck with it, but when eve ...more
Aug 29, 2014 endrju rated it it was ok
Firstly, I've got a cold so I'm very, very cranky. Secondly, nobody in Serbia is called Jesnik (loved the gay member of Serbian mafia part though, and it even really happened if one's to believe Serbian tabloids at all). However this is rather disappointing read after his two previous novels, which in all honesty aren't really stellar but nevertheless fun to spend some time with. I was really looking forward to this but it just fell flat. Oh well, I can always hope the next one will be better...
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“What he hates about whisky hangovers, he thinks now, is the synthesis they achieve between the spiritual and the gastric, as if your soul needs to throw up or your stomach has realised life is meaningless.” 3 likes
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