Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Tuesday, 22 October 2002

"Monopolies of Loss" by Adam Mars-Jones (Faber and Faber, 1992)

He's a busy writer, with something of interest on every page though at times the stories lapse into lists of elegant metaphors and revelatory details. There's little dialogue and there are few "real-time" passages - detached, controlled 3rd person narrative dominates for the most part, and analysis rarely trails far behind description. Humour's there though, bubbling under - "After a while I struggled into a swimsuit ... Perhaps I thought that, all other sources of energy having failed, I would turn out to be solar-powered". In The changes of those terrible years there's a narrator who, for a change, may not be 100% self-aware and whose actions might be presented with some irony. A Small Spade describes a gay couple's trip to Brighton and their unexpected visit to a hospital. As when reading a Harry Potter book one gets the feeling of there being another world, part of it hidden away and part co-existing with the Muggles. Worth a read.

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