Beautiful Shining People


A damaged young man meets an enigmatic waitress in a Tokyo café, and they embark on a journey that will change everything. ‘Beautiful Shining People’ is an emotive speculative literary novel set in a near-future Japan.

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A damaged teenager meets an enigmatic waitress in a tiny Tokyo café , sparking an epic journey across Japan that will change everything, forever?

‘ A fascinating exploration of what it means to be human in a world where everything can be faked, and an alarming projection into a not-too-distant and all-too-plausible future ? wonderful, insightful and thoughtful’ James Oswald

‘ Totally engrossing from the start – the story, characters and settings will linger in your imagination long after you’re finished ? truly wonderful’ Jonathan Whitelaw

‘ Exquisite world-building, this book had me invested from the very first page. Vivid plot and irresistible  characters and a real tug at the soul ? you’ll drown in it’ Lisa Bradley

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This world is anything but ordinary, and it’ s about to change forever?

It’ s our world, but decades into the future?

An ordinary world, where cars drive themselves, drones glide across the sky, and robots work in burger shops. There are two superpowers and a digital Cold War, but all conflicts are safely oceans away. People get up, work, and have dinner. Everything is as it should be?

Except for seventeen-year-old John, a tech prodigy from a damaged family, who hides a deeply personal secret. But everything starts to change for him when he enters a tiny café on a cold Tokyo night. A café run by a disgraced sumo wrestler, where a peculiar dog with a spherical head lives, alongside its owner, enigmatic waitress Neotnia?

But Neotnia hides a secret of her own – a secret that will turn John’ s unhappy life upside down. A secret that will take them from the neon streets of Tokyo to Hiroshima’ s tragic past to the snowy mountains of Nagano.

A secret that reveals that this world is anything ordinary – and it’ s about to change forever?

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Outstanding! Sci-fi showing how the past might impact on the future; part coming of age, part boy meets girl, with a strong sense of place and a glimpse into a (very plausible) terrifying future’ Michael J Malone

What readers are saying?

‘ A beautiful, emotional and thought-provoking read, peppered with action and the thrill of a chase, heavy in technology, but bound by compassion’ Jen Med’ s Book Review

‘ A striking and strange novel, about beautiful shining people in all their strangeness – and a searing statement about the dangerously thin lines between utopia and dystopia’ B S Casey

‘ Just devastatingly beautiful. It made me smile, it made me weep, it made me turn the pages faster and faster, holding my breath in suspense ? quite simply immense’ From Belgium with Booklove

Praise for Michael Grothaus

***LONGLISTED for the CWA John Creasey NEW BLOOD Dagger***

‘Gloriously funny but dark as hell, you will laugh and recoil in equal measure’ Sunday Express

‘By turns comic and shocking, an extraordinary debut from a striking new voice’ Michael Marshall Smith

‘Complex, inventive and a genuine shocker, this is the very opposite of a comfort read’ Guardian

‘One of the 25 Most Irresistible Hollywood Novels’ Entertainment Weekly

‘Engrossing … a captivating story that manages to be funny, sinister and surprising’ New York Daily News

‘A scabrously funny and thrillingly original book about atoning for past sins and indiscretions’ David F. Ross

Additional information

Dimensions 19.7 × 12.7 cm