Duncan Fallowell

After Dallas what?

And We Were Young

By

Micael Joseph 184pp £5.95 order from our bookshop

Elliott Baker is an American. This is, I think, his sixth published novel. Norman Mailer finds Baker one of the funniest writers he knows. And We Were Young is dedicated to Norman Mailer. Elliott Baker is pictured on the back cover and he looks like Dennis Norden minus the spectacles and with a more expensive hairdo and a more golf-coursey wardrobe. Mr Baker’s eyes appear to be pointing in independent directions. The novel is 184 pages long and not deep. Nor is it humorous. It is serious, a story simply told in sonofabitch no-nonsense prose which would embarrass Hemingway for having influenced it (via Mailer), in much the same way as our soft-core pornography would embarrass D. H. Lawrence. Mr Baker’s style, if it amounted to style, would be called neo-realism. That is, he imagines ‘reality’ as something dead turned into string and wound on a spool.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter