Here’s Kate Bingham on Christopher Reid’s The Song of Lunch in the new Poetry London:
‘Slick with wit and pace and verbal panache, and as quaffable as the two bottles of wine the unnamed protagonist single-handedly “kills” in as many courses, The Song of Lunch slips down the page without giving its reader pause to wonder where he or she is headed. If the opening reference to Captain Oates’s famous last words hints at the self-destruction to come, the early sections bounce along as, full of the “rare joy of truancy”, the hero skips and darts his way across town for lunch with an old flame. The writing is breezy and supple, with Reid’s masterful interior monologue effortlessly shifting gear . . . Reid has a scriptwriter’s ear for the cut and thrust of table talk, and the dialogue crackles with subtext as the hero’s defences are lowered and raised. Sulky, bitter and leering by turns, he thoroughly disgraces himself, but we sympathise . . .’
This is not a dutiful review – she’s enjoying the book. A good lunch companion.