A Town by the Sea by Chris Paling - review by Melissa McClements

Melissa McClements

Where Nobody Knows Your Name

A Town by the Sea


Jonathan Cape 198pp £15.99

Chris Paling is an author dedicated to variety. He has so far written historical fiction, a murder mystery and a contemporary comedy. His seventh novel, A Town by the Sea, takes him further down the road of literary experimentation than ever before. It is a genre-defying, first-person account of a confused and isolated young man’s struggle to come to terms with a trauma in his past.

There are not many novels in which the central character’s name is not revealed until three quarters of the way through, but Paling’s latest work is written from the perspective of an amnesiac. It opens with the protagonist waking on a beach, unaware of how he arrived there. The reader

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