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J Charlton

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The Small Hours
The Small Hours
by Susie Boyt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, subtle and moving, 26 Nov. 2012
This review is from: The Small Hours (Hardcover)
'The Small Hours' is a dark, subtle and moving novel and my favourite yet of Susie Boyt's books. It's a slim thing, a mere 200 pages, but what Boyt communicates to us about her characters- their pasts, their self-image, their ambitions - is enormous in quantity yet Chekhovian in economy. Her protagonist, Harriet Mansfield, is a particularly thorough and fascinating invention: loveable, infuriating, pathetic and redemptive, with a strange preoccupation for her own feet.

What is most impressive, though, is the rangy, discursive nature of this book. Like Kundera, Boyt teleports us between timezones, places and voices ambitiously and with formidable ease. We move from the voice of a compassionate, Jamesian narrator into the childlike mind of Harriet Mansfield and back again without ever feeling the bump.

In short, a triumph.


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