D J Taylor

Mart – The Return

Yellow Dog


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.

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

    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,