Nigel Andrew

Aqua Male



Fourth Estate 402pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Yes, alas, the title is printed RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR in unspaced block capitals, as are the chapter headings, for no apparent reason. The other immediately noticeable feature of Philip Hoare’s new book is that its pages are dotted with grainy black-and-white photographs, in the manner pioneered by W G Sebald. As it turns out, it’s a book that is at its best when it’s at its most Sebaldian, when the author removes himself from the scene and follows a watery trail through the lives of the various writers, artists, heroes and cranks who populate its pages.

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