Stona Fitch - Senseless (5 stars)

Stona Fitch - Senseless

(Two Ravens)


Both deeply thought-provoking and often truly stomach-turning, Senseless is an existential thriller told with brutal clarity and dealing with cruelty, voyeurism, consumerism and globalisation. Elliott Gast is a wealthy American businessman kidnapped in Belgium and held for 40 days. During that time he is tortured by his shadowy extremist captors, the whole thing being filmed and broadcast over the internet, with viewers invited to donate money and vote on what happens next.

Because of Gast’s apparent sins, the torturers are removing his senses one by one, which makes for squirm-inducing reading, but it’s a million miles from the torture porn cinematic trend of the moment, Fitch lacing the visceral stuff with ideological, political and even philosophical dialogue between Gast and his torturers. Brilliantly written with pace, style, confidence and insight, this unbearably tense and truly unforgettable novel will leave a lasting impression.

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