Matt Thorne

Puberty and Lies

Carry Me Down


Canongate 340pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

Adolescent male protagonists have proved popular with Man Booker judges in recent years. Following Life of Pi and Vernon God Little, this year’s longlist brings us David Mitchell’s Jason Taylor (narrator of Black Swan Green) and M J Hyland’s shortlisted Carry Me Down, which is narrated by an eleven-year-old named John Egan. Egan is the latest in a long line of precocious children, having a body too big for his age and a prose style too poetic to truly convince that this is the voice of a boy whose first reaction when confronted by a carpet is to take off his trousers and underwear and rub his bottom against it. This isn’t too serious a weakness, as the writing is so fine that Hyland makes it easy to accept the conceit.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • "Ivor Novello installed a mirrored bedroom in his apartment over the Strand Theatre ... with furniture veneered in… ,
    • Our 'footprints' series has writers talking about place and inspiration. This month it's Donald Rayfield on Dostoev… ,
    • RT : ‘Meticulously documented, full of drama … complex and compelling … this is a tale fluently told, and a thriller as… ,
    • There's still time to enter: win a brace of tickets to see the new West End production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Hu… ,
    • "For Jane Austen, ‘abroad’ was Lyme Regis. What if the author, celebrated on postage stamp and banknote, had ‘seen… ,
    • Here's on @mirandajseymour's 'In Byron's Wake', a twin biography of the 'turbulent lives' of Ada Lo… ,
    • Win a brace of tickets to see the new West End production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. To enter, simply email… ,