Greetings, mortals. Before we begin, some words of explanation…
This was the edition of thebook that I used to create Brick High-Rise:
As each edition of the book may have a different numbering system, here is the chapter index, so you can compare it to your own edition:
I have decided to number my photos as they are numbered in my book, therefore I shall be starting at page 7:
And finally, as I am recreating the novel High-Rise, there will obviously be spoilers if you have not read the book. Read at your own peril.
Brick High-Rise Chapter One
Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building in the previous three months.
He leaned out over the rail and peered up the face of the building, carefully counting the balconies. As usual, though, the dimensions of the 40 storey block made his head reel.
The drive to the physiology department of the medical school took him five minutes, and apart from this single excursion Laing’s life in the high-rise was as self contained as the building itself.
The high-rise was a huge machine designed to serve, not the collective body of tenants, but the individual residents in isolation.
Laing’s fondness for pre-lunch cocktails, his nude sunbathing on the balcony, and his generally raffish air obviously unnerved her.
Thankfully, Charlotte Melville had rescued him from the orthodontic surgeon with the disposal Chute obsessions. Laing had been too drunk to get anywhere with this good-looking widow of thirty-five, apart from that she was a copywriter with a small but lively advertising agency.
At noon, when he arrived at Charlotte’s apartment, a second guest was present, a television producer named Richard Wilder.
As Laing stood on the balcony, accepting a drink from Charlotte, the noise of the party came down from the bright air, as if the sky itself has been wired for sound.
‘We play squash together,’ Laing rejoined. Aware of the hint of challenge in Wilder’s voice, he added, ‘Once a week – I hardly know the man, but I like him.’
Laing turned his attention to Charlotte. She was watching Wilder intently, nodding at each of his points.
‘Well, perhaps…’ Laing hesitated to commit himself. Before he knew it, he would be a character in a highly charged television documentary, or taking part in a sit in outside the office of the building manager.
As he stood beside Mrs Wilder, waiting until she recognised him, he gathered that the accountant was complaining that her children, not for the first time, had been urinating in the pool.
Soon after nine o’clock that evening, an electrical failure temporarily blacked out the 9th, 10th and 11th floors.
Laing was surprised by the degree of confusion during the fifteen minutes of the blackout. Some two hundred people were present on the 10th-floor concourse, and many were injured in the stampede for the elevators and staircase.
Floating in the centre of the pool was the drowned body of an Afghan hound.