First, I want to say this book may cause you to burst into flames. At the End of the Day I Burst Into Flames by Nicholas Day is a dark, intimate, but sincere dip into the darkness of love, life, and growing up.
*Disclaimer* I did receive an ARC prior to it’s release on December 21st.
We follow Martin “Firecracker” on the day that he will go up in flames and we watch and listen to him as he goes through various thoughts and replays memories as he attempts to understand his life, love, and death. The prose is terse, playful at times, and brutally honest. There are very few books that I walk away from slightly out of breath and tense, but this was one of those books.
Day writes with an intimacy that makes the reader relate at levels that they might not be aware of. I found myself shoulder to shoulder with Firecracker and processing these events in real time with him. The shock of his father’s death, the loss of past love, the betrayal of friendship. All of it. The encapsulation of a man’s life into one night when he knows he will burn out, like the collapse of a dying star. It’s just so incredibly tragic and so beautiful all at once.
The book is marked as a horror book, but with the reflection on love and the literary quality of the narrative voice that Firecracker maintains, the book’s genre definition is blurred. Some readers may be disturbed by the images or events, but they are ultimately rewarded by the cathartic ending that makes the journey worth it. This book has jumped into my top ten for the year, and that is me speaking impartially(I promise), despite my personal connection to the author.
If your life needs some unsettling or you are thirsting for an authentic narrative, among shelves of rehashed plots, then look no further than the latest from Mr. Day. Also, if you’re curious about his other works, I reviewed a collection of his short stories here.
At the End of the Day I Burst Into Flames is out now.