Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This is The Country - William Wall

It’s a bit pedantic to criticise a book’s punctuation, but the dialogue in this book forces you back to read again, two or three times in different voices, to work out who’s saying what. For a book whose strength is its immediacy and slightly addled, dream-like narrative, stopping to re-read does mar the experience.

If we lived in this life, we would feel sorry for ourselves. But he hero has lived worse, so he knows his life is good, and on its way to better, despite the misery of it all. Most surprising is the smallness of the minds, and the tiny landscape – since when was 20 miles enough space between you and an assassin, and since when was England a safe haven from an Irish thug – why not Madagascar, if you want to get away. Small minds, small world, good story.

This is the Country

William Wall,

Sceptre, ₤10.99