HOLIDAY by Nick van der Leek

Hugh van Lewen witnesses the heat and exhaustion of a warming world and then, the inexorable wilting of life.

In this world there are no more patterns. There’s just chaos.

Hugh van Lewen, an ESL teacher working in South Korea, travels to the Philippines for some R&R. Instead he walks off the plane into a sizzling storm. But the aftermath of the storm propels him into a world of Rapid Onset Climate Change. The islands are swallowed by rising waters as he tries to leave...but the problems on the world's mainlands have just begun.

This is a 'Climate Thriller' influenced by Cormac McCarthy's The Road, though not quite as dark or bleak. The star of the show is the planet's climate which rapidly deteriorates, propelling the characters, Hugh and Stella (a 30-something man and a teenage sidekick) through a panorama of increasing troubles and chaos. Their flight takes in the islands of North Palawan in the Philippines, Singapore, the East Coast of Africa, Madagascar and South Africa, where the story culminates.

It is a grim tale which addresses our failure to appreciate reality and to see things as they are rather than as we wish they were.

  • Classification: Universal
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted May 15, 2009
  • Last updated May 15, 2009
HOLIDAY
  • Read 0 times
  • On 0 bookshelves
  • 27 comments
Report

Recent readers

Readers also like

Comments

To rate or comment on this or any book please Register or Log in

  • Eddexx's avatar
    Eddexx wrote 1 year, 8 months ago

    I don't think I have read a more 'literary' opening than Chapter One. You have taken so many images and described them with consumate skill allowing the reader to almost taste what your are trying to say. The subject of climate change is very topical and you have made the story a real page-turner.
    Expertly written and much enjoyed. Well done Nick.
    Ed Marriott 'Sucker Punch'

  • Nick VDL's avatar
    Nick VDL Author wrote 4 years, 4 months ago
    [QUOTE] There is something different about your writing. The way it sweeps over the page. It's hard for me to put into words. But when I read your words it's like walking through a mist. Seeing the softness of everything. Yet it is strong. It any of that makes sense. There were a few point of view switches which I don't think added to the piece. Such as the taxi drivers point of view. He was a minor character. ‘Hugh ...
    Read more
  • Barry Wenlock's avatar
    Barry Wenlock wrote 5 years, 3 months ago

    This is great writing and I had no problem backing you. Best wishes, Barry

  • Simon Swift's avatar
    Simon Swift wrote 5 years, 10 months ago

    Love the concept Nik and I am hooked by the pitch alone! Your style is unique (in a good way) and I will definitely be reading on! Happily shelved in the meantime!
    Simon

  • C.P.'s avatar
    C.P. wrote 5 years, 10 months ago
    There is something different about your writing. The way it sweeps over the page. It's hard for me to put into words. But when I read your words it's like walking through a mist. Seeing the softness of everything. Yet it is strong. It any of that makes sense. There were a few point of view switches which I don't think added to the piece. Such as the taxi drivers point of view. He was a minor character. ‘Hugh handed ...
    Read more
  • chrisalys's avatar
    chrisalys wrote 5 years, 10 months ago

    The concept of this book is right up my street as a geographer and the writing reminds me of Joyce with its colourful, creative, imaginative use of words and metaphors. It also starts with a quote from one of my favourite REM songs, so it's backed! Good luck with it... i have found so many good books on this site recently and for me this is one of them.

  • mikegilli's avatar
    mikegilli wrote 5 years, 11 months ago

    WOW WHAT A HOLIDAY. shelved.
    Great writing..I was biting my fingernails from the word go.
    I love this adventure. Hugh's character is excellent and the
    description and thriller hooks work well...Congratulations.

    There´s an Avaaz action day on climate change..Sept 21st?
    Plus The Age Of Stupid world premiere Sept 22

  • Nick VDL's avatar
    Nick VDL Author wrote 6 years, 2 months ago
    [QUOTE] Some of your chapters are incredibly short. And I see that you use music a lot to define a moment. This works for me as I do the same. Great metaphors. A very easy read. Poppet [ENDQUOTE] Thanks Poppet. Short because we're dealing with a market with incredibly short attention spans (and suffering from ADD0. I don't know about you but I found Cormac McCarthy's The Road hard to read, because you have difficulty deciding where to find your ...
    Read more
  • Retired user
    kgadette [Retired] wrote 6 years, 2 months ago
    Dear Nick, Further to my earlier comments that previously concentrated solely on your pitch: Moody, atmospheric opening. Strong character in Hugh, a smart man who won't turn away from conflict. And interesting career choice, the ESL teacher as hero. Love the visual: "a child could have drawn the deep gashes …" Suggest a more dramatic page turner at the end of Chapter 1. Given how ecological concerns are very much in the forefront of people's minds, this story addressing climate ...
    Read more
  • Nick VDL's avatar
    Nick VDL Author wrote 6 years, 2 months ago
    [QUOTE] Chapter 10 Jeepers Julie - big kiss thank you. Really appreciate you r reading ALL TEN CHAPTERS. Will def have a look at Chapter 6 but as I recall the other side of the ocean was preternaturally calm...and I think the whole idea of knowing a disaster is about to strike and then STILL BEING RECKLESS is something we're all culpable of. Maybe need to reinforce that though. I have actually completed the entire story, although the last two ...
    Read more
  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 10

    Good News! New York and London are OK! I really like this novella. I don't know if this is the complete manuscript but what I have read so far is excellent and something I would read. Hugh is a strong sensitive hero/protagonist and I cheer for him. The setting is exotic and the plot is universal (everyone fears nuclear explosion). This is a winner I am putting it on my bookshelf! Good Read Nick.

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 9

    The tension builds will our protagonist Hugh die? I like how the chapter ends with Hugh asking of "news of the world."

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 8

    Hugh is surrounded by crocodiles. Man against the man made explosion and man against nature, two truly menacing predators. 007

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 7

    This is an excellent chapter. The fallout from the Hydrogen bomb is explained very well. I have a perfect picture of what the landscape looks like and Hugh's primal Nooooooooooooo. . . . !

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 6

    Frightening hurricane, yet Hugh wanted a swim at the beach. I would have liked some of Hugh's interior thought once catastrophe struck to balance out the description.

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 5

    This is excellent! The isolation you convey of being alone though surrounded by many people and the resourcefulness of Hugh has me intrigued. I like your monologue on consciousness very though provoking. You write what humans fearfully think.

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 4

    You capture the chaos and strangeness of airports and airplanes very well. I can tell you are a seasoned traveler by your descriptions, details and precision. I feel truly transported to the other side of the world. I get a good sense of Hugh's physical presence: his sweat, his bulk the gentleness of picking up the child and moving it.

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 3

    You have an excellent sense of location that becomes a character in itself. The scene in the hotel with the prostitute was poignant and touching and the exchange between taxi driver and Hugh about the women of the streets gave me insight into Hugh. I like him.

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Chapter 2

    This is an interesting chapter. The sexual innuendo and metaphor are nice and gives the imagination something to think about. You write very intellectually: Your reference to Gerard Manley Hopkins. I appreciate this. Whatever you do DON'T DUMB DOWN YOUR WRITING!

    Julie

  • ergi1120's avatar
    ergi1120 wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Nick:

    You write long muscular sentences with precise description and immediacy. I like what I am reading!. I am a fan of Cormac McCarthy's The Road and look forward to reading your entire manuscript on Authonomy. The third person narrative gives you much freedom where to go in the story. Good Choice.

    Julie