Victoria Glendinning

They’ve Got Their Little Lists

Man or Mango?


Review 238pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

I pick up a new novel by Lucy Ellmann with high hopes, expecting to be entertained and savaged in equal measure. On the strength of two previous novels – Sweet Desserts and Varying Degrees of Hopelessness – she has established herself as a novelist with lots to say and a uniquely personal way of saying it.

Man or Mango does not exactly disappoint. It is stylish , fluent, funny, inventive. But the anger and desperation which fuel her inventiveness have got the upper hand, landing her in a cul-de-sac with her engine boiling. I ended up almost as angry as she is, longing for her to reverse out of her predicament and speed off in a new direction.

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