Francis King

The Boy Who Didn’t Fit



Faber & Faber 525pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Rather like E M Forster, who became more and more famous with each book that he did not write, Adam Mars-Jones enjoyed the distinction of being twice nominated, in 1983 and 1993, as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists without ever having produced a single novel. When in 1993 he finally came up with The Water of Thirst, a fine if fragile work, he fortunately justified these two accolades. Now, after a fifteen-year interval, he has at last produced a successor to that book. Set in the 1950s, it is equally fine but, so far from being fragile, runs to more than five hundred remarkably robust pages.

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

    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • 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… ,