Brighton search

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

Related Images


   

Bestselling crime author Peter James has been confirmed to speak at TEDxBrighton 2014. James will explore the formation of his Brighton-based character Detective Superintendent Roy Grace.

The title of this year’s TEDxBrighton - which will take place on Friday the 31st of October 2014 at the more >>


The next phase of regeneration for Brighton's western seafront around the future i360 has been formally unveiled. 

This included a new creative retail quarter on Brighton beach and ground was broken for the construction of the Brighton i360 attraction.&... more >>


After two years away the most popular ice show in the world, Holiday on Ice, is returning toThe Brighton Centre  for one week only with their 70th anniversary show Platinum, featuring Dancing on Ice All Stars winner, Ray Quinn.

Running from Tuesday 6th to Sunday 11th January, the show is a tribute to 70 years ofH... more >>


Brighton-based The Dark Design is not your average band. Their live shows are never the same twice and may involve the narration of tall tales or short poems, a tap dance or a sleight of hand.

Their style is Steampunk Rock Opera; part musical, part theatre and part secret society mixed with a party.


People affected by dementia, their carers and Alzheimer's Society volunteers will be encouraging people to sign up for the Brighton and Hove Memory Walk by performing a 1940s dance routine on Hove Lawns. 

Led by the Brighton Lindyhoppers, the gang of  beginners will perform a dance rou... more >>


A replica of the iconic Lambretta scooter ridden by actor Phil Daniels - aka 'Jimmy' - in the cult motion picture Quadrophenia is to be offered as part of Bonhams Beaulieu sale on 6th September.

Released in 1979, the film, which centred  around Jimmy's trips to Brighton,  follows Daniels' character Jimmy, a young working ... more >>


Brighton-based ONCA Trust have embarked on their first research expedition with a crew of artists and researchers, setting sail across the Northern Atlantic, on the search for great whales and dolphins.

"Outside, the wind is blowing. Waves with white tops splash onto the walkways and clouds like giant black bowling balls hang heavily above the... more >>


Brighton & Hove City Council has been named the top local authority in the country for tackling homophobic and biphobic bullying in schools.

Leading pressure group Stonewall has put the council in first place in their 2014 Education ... more >>


With just a few weeks to go until the Festival gates open (22nd to 24th August), the line-up for the Alternative Stage at Reading & Leeds has been announced. 

On top of the already huge line-up including headliners Queens Of The Stone Age, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys and Blink 182 comes a hos... more >>


If you want a feel good hit of the summer look no further than All We've Got Is Now, by Brighton's very own mysterious studio-based combo, The Raving Beauties. 

Think surf, think beaches, think long heat-filled days of youth and young manhood, and more than anything think Brighton's 60s Mod-h... more >>


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