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The Good Old Days When Goddard Still Had Creative Ideas
on 9 January 2010
Godard has been running downhill for some time and I have found many of his recent books so disappointing that I have turned my back on him. However, I am a bit addicted to the atmosphere of his work and his idea that events of the past are still with us, shaping the present and future. This idea appeals to my Celtic nature and I think it is no coincidence that much of Godard's work is set in south-west England (and Wales) where Celtic culture was (and still is) strongest.
In Beyond Recall, first published in 1997 when he still had some creative energy flowing, he goes even further west and takes us into Daphne du Maurier territory of Cornwall, albeit with detours to Clacton and Jaywick (believe it or not) in Essex and Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire.
I won't describe the plot but it is the usual mixture of twists, turns and teases stemming from a murder which took place 34 years before the action starts. Godard has always been stronger on plot than character and the usual cast of a lonely, flawed anti-hero, bullying small businessmen, slutty faithless women and wronged victim all appear.
The book is not in the same league as Into the Blue*, Borrowed Time or Take No Farewell but if you are a Godard fan then you will probably like it.
*The cover of my paperback version of Beyond Recall is remarkably similar to Into the Blue.