6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Dark, yes but brilliant all the same.,
This review is from: Chamber Music (Bane 2) (Hardcover)
I have this weekend just finished the second novel by Tom Benn featuring the wonderful `hero' Henry Bane. However, while writing this I am aware that I should be circumspect about what I write while trying to make it both interesting and truthful knowing that Tom may read this. I fear my poor skills are not up to describing this book - giving it the praise is deserves is going to be difficult. But here goes: Tom has written an excellent follow up to The Doll Princess (his first book featuring Bane) and in the same voice has increased our understanding of what makes Bane tick. Though it's not necessary to read the Doll Princess first I think it helps enormously if you do, (it's out in paperback now so no real excuse not to buy that one as well). The story has been described elsewhere on this site so I'll waste no time talking about that but what I would like to mention is the sound of this novel.
As you adapt to the style that Tom uses, you will begin to recognise a pattern, something almost musical in its form even down to sentence length and construction. It's as if each paragraph has been designed to look as well as sound like a phrase of music. I'm sure he must spend as much time looking at each word as he does working on the plot. Each sentence is like a Haiku and is fabulous for that reason. There's not one phrase to pick out or a spare word you could miss; everything is in its place. That said, this is not as easy read; there's no getting away from it, this is a violent world Bane inhabits and for the reader it is by turn dark and even on occasion comic.
Congratulations on a wonderful book Tom and if anything ever promoted me to read the next one, the final chapter in Chamber Music has done it for me. Oh and I should add that I should not be surprised to see this on a short list for the Booker - just sayin'.