Glynn, Alan 1960-
GLYNN, Alan 1960-
PERSONAL: Born 1960; married. Education: Trinity College, Dublin, B.A. (English literature).
ADDRESSES: Home—Dublin, Ireland. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Bloomsbury USA, 175 Fifth Ave., Third Floor, New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Educator and novelist. Worked variously as a teacher in Verona, Italy, and in publishing.
The Dark Fields, Bloomsbury USA (New York, NY), 2001.
ADAPTATIONS: The Dark Fields was optioned by Miramax Films.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A psychological thriller set in New York City.
SIDELIGHTS: Alan Glynn's first published novel, the high-finance techno-thriller The Dark Fields, achieved critical success both in the United Kingdom and the United States and quickly gained a cult following.
In The Dark Fields mediocre copywriter Eddie Spinola runs into his drug dealer/ex-brother-in-law Vernon, and complains about his hard life. Vernon lets Eddie in on MDT-48, an illicit, new drug that improves intellect and personality almost instantaneously. The drug actually works, and the initial rush Eddie gets from it is so mind-blowing that even his discovery of Vernon's murdered body, together with currency and pills, barely interrupts his growing addiction. With his improved intelligence he becomes a hugely successful day trader in the stock market, growing rich even as the side effects of the drug—including fits of rage, intense headaches and a disassociation with time—become more apparent. Then Eddie starts experiencing blackouts, waking up from one covered with bruises and walking down the corridor of a hotel he has no memory of entering. His new world of wealth and power comes apart when he is linked to industrial spying and becomes implicated in the vicious murder of the wife of a well-known artist, and the shocking truth about MDT-48's origin and purpose is revealed.
In an online interview for iVenus.com Glynn explained how he got the idea for the 2001 novel. "Smart drugs was a huge topic in the Nineties, together with performance-enhancement drugs. I was also interested in a meeting between a man and his ex-brother-in-law, and what they would talk about. The two came together, and I developed the story around the two ideas." Glynn also noted that the storyline of The Dark Fields is of greater consequence than the "thriller" aspect of it: "I wanted to write a book that would appeal to everyone, not just fans of thrillers. The story is all important to me."
To keep up with Spinola's fast-moving life while on MDT-48, Glynn had to become an expert on areas as diverse as day trading and concert piano playing. "I lived in New York for a time in the second half of the Eighties, so I knew the place quite well," he told the iVenus.com interviewer. "I did my research into Eddie's different interests mainly on the Internet though. It's a great research tool for writers."
A contributor to Publishers Weekly praised The Dark Fields as an "impeccably imagined and executed debut," noting that Glynn "gets the frenzied pace of the city just right."
Glynn admitted to iVenus.com that his determination to be a writer over the ten years before publishing The Dark Fields sounds like a "crazy thing to do," but explained that it wasn't just him locking himself into a room with no encouragement. "I wrote two novels before The Dark Fields that didn't get published, but I started getting encouragement about halfway through, which helped me continue on—I got an agent who was very enthusiastic about my work. I always wanted to write full-time though. The difference with The Dark Fields is that I felt as though I knew where I was going with this one, and I had a better idea in terms of structuring it as a novel."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2001, review of TheDark Fields, p. 1568.
Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2001, review of TheDark Fields, p. 48.
Crimepays.com,http://www.crimepays.com/ (April 17, 2002), review of The Dark Fields.
iVenus.com,http://www.ivenus.com/ (April 17, 2002), interview with Glynn and review of The Dark Fields.*