This is a book so much not there that, like the dog that didn’t bark in the night, it’s remarkable. It is hard to imagine how human hand could have produced it.
I have always believed, as a reviewer, that absolutely every book must hold some sort of interest for the truly attentive reader. After all, books are by people, every human soul is unique, and however awful or slight the work, it must have something of its author breathed into it. Psychiatrists read character from ramblings about Rorschach blots, don’t they, and even a Frederic Raphael story might reward the sufficiently skilled and patient investigator.
That creed is about as close to Christian charity as I have got. After a short career of accepting commissions to review first novels by women, by Irishmen, and by people who had been to Cambridge, I decided to honour it in the breach rather than the observance. But I