Sobre o livro
In a merciless summer of biblical heat and destructive winds, Gabrielle Fox's main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her career as a psychologist after a shattering car accident. But when she is assigned Bethany Krall, one of the most dangerous teenagers in the country, she begins to fear she has made a terrible mistake. Raised on a diet of evangelistic hellfire, Bethany is violent, delusional, cruelly intuitive and insistent that she can foresee natural disasters - a claim which Gabrielle interprets as a symptom of doomsday delusion.
But when catastrophes begin to occur on the very dates Bethany has predicted, and a brilliant, gentle physicist enters the equation, the apocalyptic puzzle intensifies and the stakes multiply. Is the self-proclaimed Nostradamus of the psych ward the ultimate manipulator, or could she be the harbinger of imminent global cataclysm on a scale never seen before? And what can love mean in 'interesting times'? A haunting story of human passion and burning faith set against an adventure of tectonic proportions, "The Rapture" is an electrifying psychological thriller that explores the dark extremes of mankind's self-destruction in a world on the brink.
'The considerable achievement of The Rapture is to render its heroine so susceptible to physical or mental harm, and place her in such repeated peril, that you're never quite confident until the last page that victory will be grasped. When it happens, it's with a grim and realistic caveat which shows that the author really means business...a masterclass on how to write an engaging thriller about a relevant contemporary issue while still respecting the reader's brain cells....you'll be gripped' Irvine Welsh, Guardian
'Compelling...Set in the near future, the novel occupies territory which Jensen has broached before - religion, science, dystopia, trauma. But whereas her blackly comic sense of humour has leavened previous work, The Rapture makes chilling reading... Jensen writes with energy and chutzpah about the scarily possible... electric and elegiac' Marianne Brace, The Independent
'It's back to the worst-case scenario,' says a woman on the TV. 'Hurricane Stella's changed course again, and she's now definitely heading for Rio. She'll hit any time in the next hour.'
'Yo, Wheels.' Bethany grins as she spots me, then fists the air like a triumphant athlete. But with a third coffee inside me, I am back on track, and I refuse to let the latest news shake me. The only sane approach to what's happened is to take it as given that Bethany's prediction of the hurricane is a guess based on something she has gleaned, via the internet, from some obscure weather station. Or simply coincidence. What did Frazer Melville say? Case dismissed. My job, as a professional, is to manage Bethany's conviction that it isn't a random fluke. And even reverse it. The alternative - the Joy McConey model - doesn't bear thinking about. The trouble is, when you deal on a daily basis with people's fantasies not coming true, there's no handbook on how to behave when they actually do. I'll have to run on whatever instincts I have left.
'Yes, you were spot-on, Bethany,' I say.
'Well, duh,' she says through her gum. Her face is still pale, but the cheeks carry a faint, waxy flush, reminding me of those Madonna statues that cry tears of blood on demand in mystically devout pockets of the world. 'Well, Wheels? Aren't you going to say anything?'
'I am,' I say non-committally. 'But I don't imagine it's what you'd most like to hear.'
'You're going to say it was just a random coincidence, right? Well, Joy was just like that at first. Back in the days when she was a zero too. So if that's what you want to believe, you go right ahead.' I nod slowly but say nothing. 'They always give people blankets,' she comments, jerking her head at the screen, and rolling her grey-green gum around on her tongue and teeth. 'Why's that? It's not like it's cold.'
'Shock makes your body temperature drop,' I respond automatically, trying to hide my irritation at the laconic, I-told-you-so way she's watching the drama unfold. She can't seem to imagine what this means for individual lives. For her, they're like tiny pixillated screen-beings. Little Sims whose lives you can meddle with and overturn at will. 'Especially if you're wet. It's comforting.'
It's more than two years ago that I held Alex's elbow and thought that cold flesh needn't always be a bad sign. That if I just kept hold of it, kept squeezing it so he'd know I was there, passing on my warmth, everything would somehow be all right. I thought, too, about his family. Now everything would be out in the open. There'd be no avoiding it, no denying it, no more pretending. Sickness mingled with relief, and the hovering suspicion that I would probably panic later, if I could muster the energy. They would give me a tranquilliser of some kind, I hoped. Perhaps they already had. At that point, it didn't cross my mind that I was badly injured. The fact that I couldn't feel anything seemed like a blessing, a sign that I was intact, that I hadn't lost anything. Yes: I'd been given some kind of tranquilliser. How good of them, how thoughtful, professional and well-organised. I could close my eyes and sleep.
'My life is over,' a weeping Brazilian woman in a floral dress tells the world, via a dubbed American voice. 'Everything has gone. My baby is dead.' Babies have a way of getting to me. I turn away. Through the window-bars, the sky is full of popcorn clouds.
'Right. We'll discuss this later. I can't hang around,' I tell Bethany.
'Yeah. Anger management, right?' She smirks, then turns back to the screen, where they have moved briefly to other news: Japan's stock market has gone berserk, an actress who once starred alongside Tom Cruise has taken an overdose, the body-count in Iran has reached half a million. I'm just rolling out of the room when a stupid but brutal thought strikes me. I stop in the doorway and turn round.
'What else do you feel you have known about in advance?'
She shrugs. 'Lots of stuff. That earthquake in Nepal two weeks ago? I told you about it.'
'Did you?' At a recent session in the art studio I recall her reeling off a list of dates, places and events while drawing a diagram of what might have been a sex act performed by machines. But I was more interested in the artwork than the manic rant that accompanied it.
'Yes. And you didn't listen,' she says, catching the nurse's eye and offering him some gum, which he declines. I did listen, I think defensively. But I filtered. The way you have to, to make sense of anything these kids say.
'Try listening next time,' she says, yawning. 'It's not like it's going to stop happening.'