On a bright spring day in England, six teenagers laugh and joke as they make their way to a neglected part of the institution they mockingly call Our Glorious School. Hidden in the dark hollow of a buttress is the door to a small windowless cellar. Behind the door, the old stairs have rotted away. A boy unfurls a rope ladder and five descend into The Hole. The sixth closes the cellar door, locks it from the outside, and walks calmly away down the flagstone path.
The idea is simple. While their parents think they are on a field trip, and the school thinks they're at home, Frankie, Geoff, Alex, Mike, and Liz will spend three days locked in The Hole. Martyn will remain above ground, promising that when the five emerge into daylight, they'll have been part of the greatest prank the infamous schemer has ever engineered.
The three days pass predictably: a lot of talking, some booze, flirting, a few friendly fights. At five P.M. on the third day, they drink a celebratory bottle of vodka and wait for the mastermind to arrive and release them. Thirty hours later, they realize that Martyn is not coming to let them out . . . ever.
Taut and eerie, suspenseful and disturbing, The Hole is a compelling novel of physical endurance, psychological survival, and shocking revelations made all the more stunning by its last pages. For in the end, readers will wonder if they will ever know what really happened down in the Hole.
Widely praised upon publication in Britain and compared to such classic works as William Golding's The Lord of the Flies and John Fowles's The Collector, The Hole introduces one of Britain's most acclaimed young writers to American readers.
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