Philip Womack

Malign Spirits

The Possession of Mr Cave

By

Jonathan Cape 244pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Terence Cave, the snobbish, wannabe aesthete at the centre of this troubling, compulsive novel, has dealt with the suicide of his mother and the murder of his wife; and he has watched his son Reuben fall, fatally, from a lamppost as his supposed friends look on, yelling in encouragement. Now all he has left is his daughter Bryony, a cello-playing, pony-loving ‘dream of a child’ where Reuben was ‘the dark sleep I could never comprehend’.

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

    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,