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One of the best British Novels of the 1980s,
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This review is from: Climbers: A Novel (Paperback)
A series of episodes with a climbing theme, set mainly during the extraordinary (now forgotten) draught of 1984, when much of the North of England had an abnormally dry Spring and Summer - perfect for climbing.
The book is narrated by "Mike" who shares much in common with the author M John Harrison; a fell runner and keen climber. Quite deliberately, as the various sections accumulate we're presented with an accurate description of the 'respectable' fringes of British society in the mid 1980s. Hence my 5-star rating - you can read this as a description of climbers and their adventures, or as a brilliant social novel.
Harrison's descriptions and dialogue are excellent, some of the characterisations are near perfect, and it's only the somewhat random and chaotic structure of this novel that grates.
At times brilliant and inspiring, sometimes dark and disturbing and always entertaining, "Climbers" is a brilliant work of art. Buy it and cherish it.