Sator Press

No Other by Mark Gluth

No Other by Mark Gluth

I recall reading once—though I can’t remember where—that all novels essentially fall into one of three categories: the novel of plot, the novel of character, and the novel of ideas. This sort of categorical essentialism is perhaps dubious enough on its face, but that classification system has long stuck in the back of my mind. No novel I’ve read has so thoroughly demolished those particular classifications as Mark Gluth’s No Other. For this is a novel of atmosphere, of ambient dread, of raw emotion that suffocates the air. There is a clear plot here, but its incidents, essential as they are to the book’s impact, are subsumed into the overwhelming fog of emotional desolation that covers every page. A mere recitation of the incidents of No Other’s plot would render it a simple melodrama, which it most assuredly is not. Similarly, the book features three fully formed characters at its core, each one, in his or her own way, helplessly grasping at life, but we glimpse them only dimly, fleetingly, through a despondent haze.

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