If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things
Risky in conception, hip and yet soulful, this is a prose poem of a novelintense, lyrical, and highly evocativewith a mystery at its center, which keeps the reader in suspense until the final page. In a tour de force that could be described as Altmanesque, we are invited into the private lives of the residents of a quiet urban street in England over the course of a singl...more
Most of the characters are never named, but as the author gradually unveils t...more
In a general, very oversimplified sense, the reason we, as humans, have names is as a way to distinguish us from one another. When I was a small writer, knee-high to a grasshopper (actually, as my parents will tell you, I was never less than knee-high to a baluchitherium, but that's beside the point), one of the things I always thought would be cool was to write a novel that had no names whatsoever in it, where everyone...more
To be fair, I've never much cared for this particular style of writing. The present tense prose is a little too sparse for my taste. The narrative structure, a little too self-conscious. There's a deliberately generic quality to the setting and characters. I suppose this was done to emphasize the basic human condition. But, how can you love your characters if you don't even name them?
This sort of book alienates me, in a way, because everyone is gen...more
The plot holds readers' interest but this novel's real gem is its characters. McGregor conjures up a residential city street and the people who populate it. From the old couple getting on the bus to the strange boy with the nervous tick, from the rambucuntious twins playing cricket in the street to the young adults recovering from a night of dancing, t...more
The naivety of several drugged-out teenagers, the wistful nostalgia of an old widower, and the mysterious obsessions of one boy are all focused on and centered around one awful crime that takes place that evening. Although the writing is absolutely beautiful in the way that only prose-poetry is, it’s concept is kind of odd and the way it transitions from character to character without placing names on anyone is kind of jagged and I didn’t find myself as emotionally invested in it as I could have...more
- the descriptions are second to none, I loved how McGregor described the city and the lives of the characters populating the story. In the best parts this is like poetry and puts you inside the created world.
- the writing really propels you onward with a sense of urgency, like a car with no b...more
¿Por qué dos estrellas, pues? En primer lugar, porque a McGregor no se le puede negar la pericia narrativa, especialmente en términos de manejo de lenguaje o lirismo; y también porque hay ciertos...more
McGregor’s writing style is poetic; beautifully and meticulously structured. The story of a single day slowly unfolds through a series of little vignettes that slowly connect together, like projections on gauze. The narrative develops like...more
That's how it was for me with this book. Like a Michelin star chef, this book came with tons of brilliant reviews, but it never grabbed me.
I had no empathy with the characters, and the story - such as it was - didn't bother me either.
I finished it, but more in hope than enjoyment.
Perhaps it was...more
I fell in love from the very first page. The opening is beautifully poetic and although nothing really happened I was hooked and hoping that nothing continued to happen so that I could enjoy the prose.
Things did begin to happen, although they were every-day, mundane, unremarkable things made interesting by the writing.
The "chapters" alternate between the detailed, wonderful description of a typical late Summers...more
The characters are largely anonymous throughout the novel which adds to the sense of detachment and helps to incre...more
This was an amazing book. Gorgeously written, and it seems to bring forth some beautiful, eloquent version of reality. It’s set in the suburbs of England, on a single street, and alternates betwe...more
This was a very different book. I haven't decided whether it was different good, or just different. I'm leaning towards just different.
The book had an almost overwhelming number of characters, yet not one of these were named. Alright, one of them was named, but not until the very end of the book. The entire book also took place over one day. It was narrated by someone in the "present" and occasionally the narrative would relate details of her present day life, but it was mostly set on that one d...more
The narrator of the story remembers her last day living in student accommodation in a town in northern England. Events that unfolded that day terminated in something which haunts her still. She also deals with things happening in her current life in a different town, and her relationships with family and friends. Someone connected to her past turns up and she realises how little she really knew her former neighbours.
For me this book is very cl...more
Very much like "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" or "In Cold Blood" or watching "American History X", this is a work that is not going to easily leave my mind. The prose, written in a p...more
The book went back and forth between the present day life of a young woman who was there on the day and then back to t...more
I found I had misremembered some thing...more
The trouble is it's a tough read, made tough...more
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The city, it sings.
If you stand quietly, at the foot of a garden, in the middle of the street, on the roof of a house.
It's clearest at night, when the sound cuts more sharply across the surface of things, when the song reaches out to a place inside you.
It's a wordless song, for the most, but it's a song all the same, and nobody hearing it could doubt what it sings. And the song sings the loudest when you pick out each note.”