These Demented Lands by Alan Warner - review by Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

Some Flashes of Light

These Demented Lands

By

Jonathan Cape 224pp £9.99 order from our bookshop
 

Alan Warner’s name is invariably mentioned in references to the recent, spectacular renaissance in Scottish literature. It is therefore embarrassing to report that after two careful readings of These Demented Lands, I remain puzzled. Partly, this is to do with the plot, or stated bluntly, with an inability to work out what on earth is going on in the book.

Ten years before the narrative starts, two aeroplanes crashed over an island, after their pilots had tried to impress each other's girlfriends. Now, someone called The Aircrash Investigator is spending his time in The Drome Hotel with John Brotherhood, who set up the hotel, 'to show that love existed nowhere

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