Philip Womack

Lynch Mob

The Making of Mr Bolsover

By

Harvill Secker 196pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

This curious novel, Cornelius Medvei’s third, purports to be a political biography detailing the life of Mr Bolsover, a man who has ‘passed into folklore’, who either died in a ‘hail of bullets’ or ‘fled to Panama’. We are led to believe, by the dry voice of the ‘biographer’, that he was a man of consequence. Nothing, however, is straightforward; as the biographer (ungendered, unnamed, although there is the slightest of hints that it might be a woman) warns, the most forthcoming witnesses are also the ‘least credible’. The book is an exploration of how myths are engendered as much as it is a whimsical satire of political ambition, and it is also very much in love with the Sussex countryside that it so beautifully evokes.

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