Anthony Cummins

I Know What You Did This Summer

The Fall Guy

By

Jonathan Cape 266pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

James Lasdun’s memoir, Give Me Everything You Have, told of how he was stalked by a female ex-student whose lurid claims endangered his reputation. By his own account, a minor and benign consequence of this ordeal was the taste it gave him for Patricia Highsmith, whose ‘anxiety-saturated’ psychological thrillers eased his dread. To judge from Lasdun’s new novel, Highsmith has been an inspiration as well as a consolation. A stealthily nasty tale of social envy and sexual deceit, sifted through the worldview of a damaged outsider akin to a not-so-talented Tom Ripley, The Fall Guy looks very much like Lasdun’s stab at a 21st-century remix of his favoured comfort reading, with the comfort stripped out.

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

    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,
    • The author 'seethes with contemptuous indignation at the shiny junk that an unregulated construction industry dumps… ,
    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,
    • 'You are interested in a particular subject; basic research hardens this interest into an obsession, after which th… ,