When looking back on our individual pasts we all have a tendency - and a very human tendency at that - to edit out that which we do not wish to remember; we withdraw the bad things we have done and elevate the good in their place. In short, we shape our memories of the past so that they `fit` with the type of person we wish to be, the type of personality we wish to project.
Imagine what it would be like if you couldn't do that; imagine that you have to be accountable - in the present - for every shady little thing you did in the past; that's EVERY shady little thing...
This may just be one of the central concerns of Michael Turner's spellbindingly inventive novel. Then again, it may not be. I can't be sure you see because memory can play funny tricks: it can make you think you're telling the truth when, in fact, you're spinning a web of lies.
It is set up as an interrogation between the narrator and two nameless figures from some nameless authority. Unsurprisingly these two nameless figures know everything there is to know about the narrator but, get this, they want him to tell all, to confess to everything he has done...and so his story begins to emerge: from the twinges of his sexual awakening to the moment he `makes` the Family Dog.
This new book has it all: adolescent longing, regret, sex (in bucket loads,) mistakes, wrong turnings, pornography, love, death. In short, it has the whole pretty [ugly] picture of life between its pages and, what's more, the writing does not miss a beat at any point.
If you need lyrical it has lyrical; if you need sensitive it has sensitive; if you need a screenplay it has a screenplay; if you need hardcore it has hardcore; if you need a snuff movie it has a snuff movie. Hell, just go out and buy this wonderful novel and tell me what you think happens at the end because I've got a million-and-one ideas and none of them, I suspect, is even close to the mark.