Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mumble mumble mumble.

Got some feedback from the joint reading gig I did with Cate Sweeney in Northampton. Some very positive comments though it seems there was a problem with volume. People at the back had trouble hearing us. I suspect I was the main culprit as Cate has a great delivery style. And she was clever enough to stand up.

One of the people who attended, and bought a book, was Tony Judge, who has been kind enough to post his thoughts on the book on the WriteWords website. He's given me permission to quote from his review on the plog. But why quote when I can post the whole thing:

I recently finished Taking Comfort and it is indeed a rewarding read. The plot unfolds with subtlety and some flashes of dark humour. One of the main themes is the psychological impact of different brands and the way that we take comfort from them as familiar signposts in a maelstrom of everyday choices. The author's observations on working life are deadly accurate and should bring a shiver of recognition to anyone who has ever been caught up in venal office politics. The main character, Rob, uses trophies to 'protect' him from random urban violence and an ill-defined but ever-present sense of threat, which pervades the book. The nature of the threat is unspoken, but the book is suffused with the fear of terrorism and other anonymous crimes.

The use of multiple viewpoints is well-handled - the female characters are equally as convincing as the males - and gives the reader a strong sense of the wider context of the main character's increasingly bizarre experiences. The prose style of Taking Comfort has an edgy, experimental feel to it, which complements Rob’s strange process of disintegration. Repetition is used to great effect, building complex insights from simple and direct language: a prose analogue of minimalism in music.

Oh, and there’s a terrific twist at the end. So what are you waiting for, go out and buy a copy!

Tony Judge.

3 comments:

Debra said...

It's a great review, Roger. I had a lovely comment on my blog about you, BTW, where you are referred to as "prodigally talented" http://www.debrabroughton.com/archives/203/#comments

roger said...

Thanks Debra. *Blushes*.

guile said...

nice, cozy place you got here :)..