Christopher Hart

Insights on Indexing

The Fit

By Philip Hensher

Fourth Estate 326pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

OH NO. NOT a novel with an index. The heart sinks at such vaunted smart-arsery, or at least that’s the normal reaction. But Philips Hensher is no normal writer, and even the index of his new, indexed comic novel is funny. ‘Bible, relationship between Northern Line and, 114 . . . Horses, scarcity of in Brornley, 71 . . . The Tablet, enthusiasm of for sexual perversion, 30’. Not only is he genuinely funny, but he’s always up to something new. Last time around it was the splendid Imperial door-stopper, The Mulberry Empire, and now it’s an almost unclassifiable, unsettling, contemporary novel about a man with hiccups.

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