Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 21 July 2011

4 a.m.: Local Author Conjures Up A Genre Defining Tale Of The Early '90s Rave Scene

Brighton-based author Nina de la Mer has, for me, taken a step back into the unknown and written a Class A novel about a friendship under pressure during the early 1990s rave scene.

4 a.m. captures not only the time and place (a British army base) but also the perennial pressures of growing from carefree youth into responsible and rounded adulthood.

The process of putting together 4 a.m. saw Nina write a series of letters between two fictional characters, Cal and Manny. Having found the process too limiting, the two central voices grew into side-by-side narratives.

Early chapters have the reader drawn into the seedy world of out of hours Hamburg, where the bored Cal and Manny become embroiled in a small circle of fellow ravers; each with different personalities and problems.



The most devious and dangerous character, yet strangely one of Nina's most fun to construct, is Iain. His wife is seemingly oblivious to his cheating ways, yet it's the control and fear he wields over the others that leads to the eventual incarceration of the easily lead Manny.

It's noted that the army is also in some way responsible for the moral downfall of Cal, Manny et al.

Through double-standards alcohol use is seemingly an accepted and expected given, yet recreational drugs (which may well produce a more rounded and less socially threatening soldier) are not merely frowned upon, but aggressively stamped-out.

Though Manny's description of his inner circle as: 'A mouldy fruit cocktail of drink-spikers, pill-munchers and girl-friend-stealers, coke-heads, fuck-up and prick-teases,' means that the institutionalised nature of a soldier's career is probably a more dangerous cocktail than alcohol and recreational drugs served together.



What Nina has Cal and Manny truly represent are two very different universal character traits; the optimist and the pessimist. Which is able to negotiate a better path through life is for the reader to discover!

That I delved into 4 a.m. a rave virgin didn't in anyway hinder my enjoyment of this novel.

It had me gripped from the off, and by its close I felt I'd actually been willingly dragged kicking and screaming though Nina's fictional world, and emerged a more rounded and less judgemental human being for my efforts.

Novel of the year? I've yet to read a better one.


Nina De La Mer's 4.a.m. is published by Myriad Editions on 26th August. For more info CLICK HERE



by: Mike Cobley

Related links

4 a.m Nina de la Mer

Share    

Noel Fielding, best known for playing Vince Noir in The Mighty Boosh, is proud to have retained his child-like view of the world.
Commemorating Terry Higgin's 70th birthday, the UK's leading sexual health and HIV charity has rolled out a national programme – Health Wealth and Happiness Project (HWHP) - aimed at the one in four of those living with HIV in the UK who are over 50, with Brighton one of five locations chosen.
Last year, artist and broadcaster, Scottee attempted to turn his illiterate Irish Grandad, Liam Gallagher into an artist.
Brighton resident Dara Fitzgerald will be travelling to Spain to make the entrance of Pamplona's bullring – where the animals tormented in the Running of the Bulls are ultimately killed – run red with 'blood', early next month. 
True life stories of domestic violence, drug abuse and refugees fleeing persecution have been highlighted in a report that tackles the issue of inequality across Brighton & Hove.
The Space, in association with its sponsor, Brighton Film School, welcomes comedy legend Barry Cryer and television drama writer Jed Mercurio, to its event in Brighton.
A recent adult learning success story at City College Brighton and Hove is a mother and daughter team from the city who launched a new designer clothing brand thanks to a Dressmaking evening class.
The hidden histories and fascinating features of Brighton & Hove are being enshrined in a new official record of the city's heritage assets.
City College Brighton and Hove's Centre for Visual Arts End of Year Show, one of the highlights of the city's art calendar, is being held in the College's York and Trafalgar buildings. 
Nearly 600 women gathered at Brighton Racecourse before hitting the streets of the city to take part in the ninth Martlets Midnight Walk, to raise money for the Hove based Hospice..
Just a few months ago the Nepal earthquake killed more than 8,800 people and injured many thousands more. 
Former Daily Mirror editor and one-time Britain's Got Talent judge, Piers Morgan, has paid tribute to a teacher at Chailey Comprehensive School in Lewes, East Sussex.
Jenny KilBride, Chair of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, who was the chief fundraiser for the 2013 award-winning redevelopment of the Museum, has been awarded an MBE for services to the Arts and Crafts.

Brighton Film School has announced that from the 1st July 2015 they will be opening a new premises in a specially designed facility on London Road, Brighton.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...






Latest Brighton Jobs

Associate Functional Skills Trainer - Part Time

TQ Training has recently been awarded a Grade 2 by Ofsted. As well as £25 per contact hour, you will also have the opportunity to earn a bonus of up to £1,000,...
Pam Jones Recruitment - Brighton
More details

Retail Assistant

The store itself is a small business, so you'll need to get to grips with all aspects of its operation - from back office admin to handling online orders....
John Smith and Son Group Limited - Brighton
More details

Local Business Administrator - Work Programme

Demonstrating understanding and empathy for the needs of all customers, including customers with disability or health needs....
A4e - Brighton
More details

Associate Administrators

Please give evidence of these qualities on your application form. Associate Administrative staff are paid on an hourly basis and may be asked to work in...
City College Brighton & Hove - Brighton
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd