Book Review Under The Night – The Sequel To Limitless
Under The Night – The Sequel To Limitless
In 1950s Manhattan, the CIA carry out a covert study of psychoactive drugs. When they dose ad man Ned Sweeney with MDT-48, he finds his horizons dramatically expand as he is hurtled through the corridors of the rich and powerful, all the way to the government’s nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll.
But what of Ned’s colleague who was also dosed that night – last seen running half-naked and screaming into the Broadway traffic – and for how long can Ned maintain the extraordinary pace and trajectory of his new life?
Over sixty years later, the only fact Ray Sweeney knows about his grandfather’s life is that it ended when he jumped out of a hotel window in Manhattan, an event which scarred his family thereafter. But then Ray meets a retired government official, ninety-two-year-old Clay Proctor, who claims he can illuminate not only Ned’s life and death but also the truth behind the mysterious drug.
Both a sequel and prequel to Alan Glynn’s classic debut, The Dark Fields – which became the hit movie Limitless – Under the Night is an irresistible thriller about the seductive power and dangers of unlocking the potential of the human mind.
Duffy’s Thoughts On Under The Night
Full disclosure straight up. I hadn’t read The Dark Fields and only had the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper to go buy, and I really enjoyed that movie! What if you could take a pill to expand your brain power? To become whatever you wanted to be? Cure world ills, become richer than in your wildest dreams and more powerful than you ever thought possible? It would be great, wouldn’t it? It would! Until you think about the knock-on effects and chain reactions which would ensue. Not to mention the withdrawals and side effects.
Under The Night is a superbly written novel about how this secretive and powerful brain expanding drug MDT-48 came to be. it’s a book written in two parts, one from the point of view of Ned Sweeney in the ’50s and Ray Sweeney, Ned’s grandson 60 years later. The two stories unveil themselves at a decent pace and I enjoyed flicking from the 50’s world of dark corners, secret testing, conspiracy and power to a modern day whodunit.
Both characters are relatable and believable and I particularly enjoyed following Ned Sweeney go down the rabbit hole into his own brilliant, chemically enhanced mind and his ever-growing ego. It’s a classic moral dilemma. If you had the pills in your possession would you take one? I’m not sure I would be able to resist!
You don’t need to have read The Dark Fields, but I do suggest you would have seen the movie Limitless at least. The book does stand alone, but having the overarching story of MDT-48 under your belt makes this read all the richer.
4 out of 5 from me!
Available in all good bookstores published by Allen & Unwin RRP $29.99