Friday, 5 August 2011

40 years on

This week's TLS reviews Andrew Barrow’s ‘beautifully organised, thoughtful and resonant’ memoir Animal Magic along with Jonathan Barrow’s The Queue, the latter published by CBe this year four decades after its writing and the author’s death. (The former book includes excerpts from the latter; the two were also mentioned together in a recent TLS Freelance column by Hugo Williams.) The reviewer, Paul Binding, acknowledges that Jonathan’s The Queue ‘is difficult to define. Picaresque encounters, recounted at speed, include bizarre scatological episodes and much random violence. Unsurprisingly, Andrew was unable to find a publisher for it, attributing his failure to the work’s daring and originality . . . Yet [the] novel’s final sentences prove that he possessed and could express compassion.’

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