3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Greig loses the plot,
This review is from: Romanno Bridge (Paperback)
Having previously been swept away by Andrew Greig's Electric Brae and In Another Light, and enjoyed his WW2-set That Summer, I bought this without a second thought. I was quickly disappointed.
I've given it two stars mainly on the strength of Greig's thoughtful, descriptive prose ('the heads and shoulders of hills slump together like vast slumbering squaddies', 'sun spreading butter-yellow all down Loch Fyne'). The plot, however, is a ludicrous Da Vinci Code-style chase that sees the characters dashing about Scotland and at one point to Norway (perhaps Greig has just been there on holiday?) in search of the 'stone of destiny' and a set of mysterious 'Moon Runner' rings engraved with a secret code, all the while pursued by a pantomime villain and his bumbling henchmen.
For me, Greig's previous novels stand out for their complex characters and meaningful relationships. But in Romanno Bridge we're introduced to a sprawling cast of tenuously linked figures, hastily sketched out and then pushed aside before we have time to bond with them. Lazy stereotypes abound - Kirsty the feisty redhead, Inga the Norwegian ice-queen who reads Ibsen for fun, Shonagh the short-haired lesbian and Leo the outdoorsy New Zealander, whose dialogue seems stolen from a particularly rubbish episode of Home and Away ('Let's rack off down to the hall of history'?).
All in all, not AG's finest hour - while it's brave of him to experiment with a different genre, I hope he's soon back to what he does best.