If you’re going to see Nocturnal Animals in the cinema soon, then I can thoroughly recommend reading the book it’s based on. Tony & Susan is written by Austin Wright and is available through Atlantic Books.
I’ve found Tony & Susan totally gripping, one of those books that you just want to keep reading, even when it’s really late. Apparently this book wasn’t a hit when it was first published in 1993 and I find it hard to understand why. It’s had me hooked.
We meet Susan Morrow, owner of an art gallery, middle-aged and rather neglected by her high-flying surgeon husband, Arnold. One day, out of the blue, Susan receives a note from her first husband Edward, telling her he’s written a novel and would she be interested in reading it. She’s not seen him for years, presumes he’s after her critique, so intrigued she agrees. Sometime later the transcript arrives, it’s called Nocturnal Animals, centred around a mathematics professor called Tony Hastings and the events that lead to the murder of his wife and daughter.
In Tony & Susan, we follow Susan as she reads chapter by chapter of Nocturnal Animals. You get drawn into her life but also to this extra story. Nocturnal Animals is actually quite chilling in places and I could feel myself silently begging Tony to keep driving at times.
It’s interesting to watch Susan and the journey she takes through the book. She starts to analyse her life, her marriage and her feelings towards both Arnold and Edward, as well as her children. Has she sacrified her dreams for others, did she take the right path all those years ago when she left Edward for Arnold.
Not only do we see Susan reflect on her life, but we also see her questioning Tony Hastings, his character and actions. I’ve often read books with more than one story within them, but this is totally different. You get totally drawn into Nocturnal Animals and Susan’s journey almost becomes an after thought. But as one story ends, her story takes over, especially when she realises that Edward isn’t actually asking for her critique at all.
Tony & Susan is a fascinating read and I can thoroughly recommend. Can’t wait to see if the film does the book justice!
disclosure: we were sent this item in exchange for an honest review