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    

Organisations across the Brighton are working together to raise awareness of the importance of HIV Testing, especially for those groups with the highest reported incidences of HIV - these are gay men and African people.  
Musicians Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott will be protesting outside Next, Upper Mall, Churchill Square, Brighton, on Tuesday 9th December at 3pm.
Sir Ian McKellen has given his backing to Wonderkid, an LGBT short film that wants to tackle homophobia in football and provide an insight into the trauma caused by homophobic stigma and challenge preconceptions about what it is to be ‘masculine'.
Former Brighton resident and Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes is gearing up to release his second solo album, Matador.
Imagine your mind has been wiped: memories, knowledge, experiences, language - every word you ever spoke, has vanished. If eventually you found the words, what would you say? 
A funny fella with a brain as razor sharp as his wit - and don't you just love him for it - Jimmy Carr has honed his craft and now uses his audience as the backbone of his stand-up.
Brighton-based veteran Folk-Rockers the Levellers have teamed up multi-BBC Folk Award winners Bellowhead, to record a new version of their cautionary tale of all things alcoholic, Just The One.
Tree planting events are set to take place around East Sussex as part of an ambitious UK-wide project by the Woodland Trust to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Sussex's arts calendar will be bolstered by a brand new event next year as Chestnut Tree House children's hospice and Brighton Dome join forces to host the Big Heart charity art auction in March 2015.
SoundCity, Brighton & Hove's Music Education Hub, has won national acclaim for its work inspiring children and young people into music.
Sophie Goodall, from Brighton will travel to Uganda with international development charity WaterAid to mark this year's World Toilet Day on 19th November. 
The Decemberists have been away. Having delivered their 17-part prog-rock opus, The Hazards Of Love, the band's front man Colin Meloy turned tack with the last release The King Is Dead: "I felt like we had definitely gone as far into the conceptual realm as we could go with songwriting."
John Cooper Clarke's biting, satirical, political and very funny verse, delivered in a unique rapid-fire performance style, resonated with the punk movement of the late 1970s.

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

Senior C# ASP. Net MVC Developers

Brighton based Digital Agency are seeking C# ASP.Net MVC Developers. Alongside an annual 10%-15% bonus, you will receive numerous soft, leisurely benefits and...
Vantage Recruitment Solutions Ltd - Brighton
More details

Field Service Engineer / Automatic / Industrial Door Engineer

Clients will vary, from retail, commercial, schools, hospitals, industrial, manufacturing, etc… Training will be provided....
Technique Selection Ltd - Brighton
More details

Managing Recruitment Consultant - Commercial - Brighton

Car or Car allowance. We do try to respond personally but if you have not heard from us within 3 working days then please accept that your application is not...
Fresh Partnership Ltd - Brighton
More details

Customer Service

Your role will be processing online orders and liaising with customers and the warehouse to ensure best possible service....
Alphastaff - Brighton
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd