Suzi Feay

Band on the Run

Schroder

By

Faber & Faber 288pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Novelists, when writing in the first person, have various techniques to account for the existence of the document they present to the reader. One way is to grant the reader magical access to the protagonist’s mind and thought processes – to overhear him rattling along with his tale. Then there’s the epistolary novel, the journal – or a combination of the two – and the fictional memoir or apologia, such as this narrative.

Such tricks raise as many problems as they solve; often, it’s not believable that the narrator could deploy the tools and skills of a gifted novelist, such as concealment, timing and pacing, or the artfulness that makes a novel out of a narrative. Here the narrator, Schroder, is working on a mysterious document that ‘could someday help me in court’. It’s part confession, part plea of mitigation.

Sign Up to our newsletter

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

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Since Dylan’s commercial and ideological heyday, the intrusion of sociology, semiology and post-structuralist thou… ,
    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,