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Daniel Brennan, approaching the premature end of his life, retreats to a room in his brother's suburban house. To divert himself and to entertain Ellen, his carer, he writes a journal, blurring truth, gossip and fiction in vignettes of his own life and the lives of those close to him.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Sort of Books
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Jun 29, 2012 Sovotchka rated it it was amazing
I first came across this novel when I read an excerpt in the brilliant short story collection Ox-Tales (see: Earth, Air, Fire, Water). Here's what I thought back then:
The writing is beautiful, and while I completely missed the plot having a proper ending (or maybe it didn't have one, seeing how it's an excerpt), I love this story. And, naturally, I'll buy the novel. I felt with the main character, who observes everyone around him from a rather distant point of view (even those he doesn't just vi...more
This was one of those random finds at the library. A dying, disfigured man observes his family, carer and surroundings. This is sensitively and intelligently written and wry and ribald. I was intrigued by it and really enjoyed how Buckley has woven so much observation about human interaction into the book. In his hands the characters are very real.
The quality of writing (which is great) makes this book a little harder to read as you keep going back to some interesting set pieces written earlier. The ending is of course without doubt but the journey along the way is most enjoyable. A book which should not be rushed through and savoured in bits and pieces.
Couldn't get into this book. Maybe it was because I wanted to hear more about the main character and how he coped with his horrible disease rather than his story abut his unlikeable quirky family. Well written but not enough to light my fire!
Jonathan Buckley was born in Birmingham, grew up in Dudley, and studied English Literature at Sussex University, where he stayed on to take an MA. From there he moved to King’s College, London, where he researched the work of the Scottish poet/artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. After working as a university tutor, stage hand, maker of theatrical sets and props, bookshop manager, decorator and builder, he ...moreMore about Jonathan Buckley...