D J Taylor

Mart – The Return

Yellow Dog

By

Jonathan Cape 340pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

A MERCILESS PR campaign (the website, the refurbished back catalogue, the serial, the authorial pronouncements); the agent’s terse embargo letters, piling up like leaves on the forest floor; the pre-publication spats: one gets the impression that quite a lot is hanging on the success, or otherwise, of Yellow Dog. It’s Mart’s first novel, Mart’s first proper novel – meaning big and buxom, sincere, mature and considered – since 1995’s The Information. The half-successes and auarter-failures. the short-storv collections and the journo round-ups of the intervening eight years are stacked up on the prelims page: Night Train, Heavy Water and Other Stories, The War Against Cliche.. . Meanwhile. a whole posse of new contenders have started jostling for space on the clogged and clamorous roundabout that marks the approach to UK Fiction Town (sorry, but Mart’s critical style is uniquely imitable). Clearly it’s time for the big boy, the high priest, the main man from whom we’ve all taken our cue these past twenty years, to shape up, to deliver.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Englishmen Abroad in the Reign of Henry VIII'. Free lecture by Dr Susan Brigden, Thurs 18 Oct, 6.30pm Europe Hou… ,
    • It 'contains twists and near misses and bit-part players, everything you might expect from a true-crime story'. Ian… ,
    • Oh normally a week or two before the ceremony itself - so mid-November. ,
    • Ian Sansom reviews The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by… ,
    • 'It is hard to think of an economist who could craft such an elegantly readable account of postwar failure as this.… ,
    • Frederick Forsyth reviews The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by ,
    • . reviews What We Have Lost: The Dismantling of Great Britain by James Hamilton-Paterson ,