Book of the Week

Thirst by Benjamin Warner. Photo: PA Photo/Bloomsbury.

Thirst by Benjamin Warner. Photo: PA Photo/Bloomsbury.

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Thirst by Benjamin Warner is published in hardback by Bloomsbury.

Fans of post-Apocalyptic fiction will welcome Benjamin Warner’s debut novel.

It’s a disturbing, enigmatic book, all the more troubling for its humdrum setting. The nightmare scenario Warner conjures up is of a sudden and total lack of water.

Inexplicably, rivers and reservoirs have combusted, leaving only beds of ash and charred foliage. We don’t know how far this disaster extends, only that food and drink is rapidly running out in the sprawling suburb where unhappy young couple Eddie and Laura live.

The situation becomes increasingly desperate as the temperature soars and the inhabitants wait passively for help that never comes.

Warner has something to say about dependence on authority and lack of meaningful community.

But really this is a visceral book and where it excels is in its gut-wrenching descriptions of how dehydration ravages the body and mind. Stock up on bottled water before you read it.