Author(s): Ian Parkinson
Whilst in Thailand to marry a sex worker he met through a marriage agency website, Raymond, a lonely industrial designer who has just lost his job designing door bells at Siemens, is informed that his father's body has been discovered in an isolated villa on the Belgian coast. Back in Belgium, Joy, Raymond's new wife, sets about making a career in the Dutch and German porn industries, while Raymond moves into the villa with the intention of renovating the property so that he and his wife can live by the sea. But an addiction to painkillers and a growing depression leave Raymond too indifferent to do anything but watch television and go to his favourite supermarket. Alone once again, and ignoring his wife's attempts to contact him, Raymond learns that the villa is one amongst many threatened by the destructive vagaries of the sea all along a western stretch of the coast. Half-drugged and more than occasionally half drunk, Raymond wanders from room to room in his pyjamas, sitting at the window for days on end as the shifting dunes bury the perimeter wall and the sea laps at the patio doors, unaware that he will never see his wife again.
Like Camus's L'Etranger rewritten by Michel Houllebecq, with JG Ballard looking over his shoulder ... -- Nicholas Royle The anomie and alienation of Ian Parkinson's The Beginning of the End is delivered with such stripped down and unforgiving sureness of touch that it becomes hypnotic and deeply disturbing. Somewhere beyond J.G. Ballard's "death of affect" and the cold, clear eye of the nouveau roman is an endgame territory of shifting dunes, dog walkers, flickering porn channels in empty houses occupied by rodents and foil trays of melting frozen meals-for-one. Venture if you dare. -- Iain Sinclair Delicious, reckless melancholy reminiscent of Houellebecq. -- Joe Stretch
Ian Parkinson was born in Lancashire in 1978 and studied philosophy at university before working as a civil servant and insurance clerk. He has also worked as a grave digger, a car salesman, a car paint mixer, a painter and decorator, a bolt maker, a railway engineer's assistant, a machine cleaner in a bread factory, a bar assistant, a caravan maker, a door to door salesman, a labourer, and in a call centre - none of them for very long.