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

   

Brighton was doused in colour twice at the weekend (Saturday September 20th) as more than 10,000 runners of all ages, shapes and sizes took part in The Color Run.
New City Kings, who are set to play The latest Music Bar in Brighton, next month, are donating a percentage of their UK gig fees to the Give A Gig campaign that is being run by the National Youth Music Foundation. 
Following Virginia McKenna's recent appearance at Whalefest, in Brighton, she releases, Tonight The Moon is Red, a very personal collection of poems that recall places, animals, concerns and people that have moved and inspired her over the past 30 years.
An amazing collaboration between The Band Project, Rizzle Kicks drummer - Lewis Whittington and the Brighton Guitar Academy will offer a unique free music workshop for local youngsters at Brighton Electric, later this month.
Following a well received  headline show at this summer's Songlines Festival, Grammy-winner Dobet Gnahoré returns with fourth album Na Drê and a specially-commissioned show featuring her band and African dancers.
Young people all over Brighton are being given the chance to take part in a memorable and educational cinematic experience as part of the Into Film Festival - the world's biggest youth film festival - when it comes to cinemas across the region.
Local resident  and comedian Jim Moir (better known as Vic Reeves), wife Nancy and daughters Lizzy and Nellie, had a wild experience in South Africa recently, when they flew out to the Shamwari Game Reserve with international wildlife charity, The Born Free Foundation.
After twenty years in Everything But The Girl, and ten years as a respected DJ and record label boss of Buzzin' Fly, Ben Watt announced last year he was parking everything to complete two long-planned creative solo projects. 

Bradley Wiggins will defend his title and compete in this year's Tour of Britain cycle race, which arrives in Brighton on 13th September.
The International Ocean Film Festival at Brighton Dome originates from the team behind the Banff Mountain Film Festival and  promises a sublime cinematic journey above and below the waves.
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

Assistant/Reception Manager - Fixed Term Contract

The Practice is one of the UK's leading providers of primary health care and operates a growing network of GP surgeries and healthcare centres throughout the UK...
The Practice - Brighton
More details

Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager is needed to join an international gambling operator based...
Guru Careers - Shoreham by Sea
More details

Future Potential Need for American Express Technologies

American Express is embarking on an exciting transformation driven by an energetic new team of high-performers. This group is nimble and creative with the power...
American Express - Brighton
More details

Support Worker

Salary: £9.50 - 14.25 per hour Reference: SWBRIC4797 Support Workers required in the Henfield area to provide assistance to a client with a brain injury. £9...
Advantage Healthcare - Henfield
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd