liz's Reviews > Utterly Monkey

Utterly Monkey by Nick Laird
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's review
May 06, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: international, literary, fun-slash-junk
Read in November, 2006

I really enjoyed this book because it mixed good writing with realism -- which makes it nice to read. It's about two guys who grew up together in Northern Ireland, one of whom moved to London and made good and the other one who's a small-time criminal fleeing from the head guy he'd been dealing with (whose sister he sleeps with and is accidentally in love with). Of course Geordie's past catches up with them, but in the meantime Geordie and Danny have to work through the tensions between them (in as suitably masculine a way as possible). A (black) girl Danny works with who he's trying to woo adds further complications.

We fall for people's things: they earn love by proximity. Danny had once met a girl at university who'd arrived uncluttered by objects, an ascetic, whose few items were almost all plain and gravely funcitonal. In the end, unconsciously desperate for a place to settle his love, Danny had grown attached to an Indian buddha her flatmate had bought that sat on their bath, fatly storing his secret. Danny was a sentimentalist, thus random and quaintly democratic with his love.

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