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.

Saturday, 5 April 2003

"The Gift of Stones" by Jim Crace (Secker & Warburg, 1998)

The story about a tribe's story-teller showing how the requirements of symmetry, flow, and entertainment shape the past, and how listeners participate. Towards the end the conscious unreliability of the narrator becomes the unreliability of the changing world where the various interpretations of "gift of stone" lose their value. Fine, controlled writing: "The sea viewed from the clifftop is a world that's upside down. Its gulls have backs. You're looking down on wind. The shallows, from above, are flat and patterned, green with arcs of white where the water runs to phlegm." ... "Why tell the truth when lies can make the listener shake their head and laugh - and - cough - and roll their eyes? People are like stones. You strike them right, they open up like shells."

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