Sam O'Neill's Reviews > The Tally

The Tally by E.G. Wolverson
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's review
Apr 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: humour, psychological, student-life, university

I knew from the blurb's Chesney Hawkes joke that The Tally was going to bring back memories of my old Uni days, and it definitely did. Little touches like the students playing on Champ Manager and having them moan about cashpoints not doing fivers really sets the scene, and the author really gets the adolescent male mentality - the difference between how the characters think and feel, and how they try to portray themselves to their peers, definitely couldn't be any further apart. This is in effect the book's MO, as the storyline looks at the differences between thought and action, and different aspects of the same person fighting for control.

The book definitely lets itself down though with some difficult dialect. Northerners might well disagree "wi' me", but I found The Tally just as tough if not tougher than some of the hardcore Scottish fiction I've read. There were one or two chapters I couldn't even tackle. Hearing dialect is one thing but reading it is something else - less is definitely more in print, I think.

But while this may be true, The Tally is still definitely one on its own, and probably the most evocative piece of university fiction I've ever read. Call it by its name or by its number, it's not the same as all the rest...
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