Odium is a novel by Peter Burnett.
A man asleep, Rubio flees Paris for the Egyptian desert. He escapes his back-biting colleagues, the proximity of his ex-wife, and the depressions that he diagnoses daily in the medical surgery.
And Paris hates Rubio too.
The city is like a TV show that wants only to humiliate him, to grab the old fellow's neck and force him to shop.
The city is after him, and Rubio is running for his life, running down a slope while memory rides behind, ever so gently applying the brakes.
Existentialist and full of sharp observation of Western values, Odium by Peter Burnett may be about depression, but it is a depression of a most scenic kind.
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Peter Burnett’s first novel, The Machine Doctor, marked him out as a highly gifted writer. Odium is a darker tale, cosy as a bed of nails. It reads like an extended panic attack. Rubio, a chain-smoking Parisian doctor with a penchant for noodles and the campaigns of Napoleon, travels to Egypt on what turns out to be a respite-free break. We first encounter him leaving a concert in the Place de L’Opera with his wife, Virginie. The ceiling of the foyer is elaborately decorated with enamelled cupids and gods frozen in ironic contemplation of the departing audience, whose chatter rings in Rubio’s ears like tinnitus. He hates being trapped in the herd.
Odium was first published in 2004 by Thirsty Books.
"a gloriously misanthropic and bilious treatise on the decadent, immoral and inane nature of western European life." Independent on Sunday
"...this is breathtaking stuff." Scotland on Sunday
The novel is set in Egypt and in Paris around the time of the End of The World. It tells the story of a Parisen doctorwho gives in to desires of depression, beginning at an early age and continuing through his adulthood, when he realises what an empty life he has led. The book explores the themes of depressive passion, sometimes unbridled and morbid
The novel was published in 2004, a year after the author's death. Its publication was authorised in a note that Burnett penned two days before his passing, in which he explained that the planned two final chapters of the novel had not been written.
American Sniper is loosely based on several of the words in Burnett's novel; thus American Sniper is only a partial adaptation of the novel Odium, as it uses only the word 'this', which appears first on page 3; the word 'is' which appears first on page 1; and the word 'shit', which appears on page 109.