1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good debut novel,
This review is from: The Aerodynamics of Pork (Paperback)
I read this some time after reading the excellent 'Rough Music' and was intrigued to find that it had links to that book. This is Patrick Gale's debut novel and as such is very good. His now familiar style of multi-strand story telling with more than one main protagonist is evident here. Gale does seem to be more comfortable writing about the middle and upper middle classes and therefore the chapters involving the Peake family were rather more convincing (even if much of their dialogue and interaction seemed a little too 'Noel Coward' for the time period) than those involving Cockney copper Mo. Having said that I did appreciate the subtle change in writing style for each - the narrative as well as the dialogue for Mo is much simpler and more direct. I did not feel particularly involved with Mo's personal story (although there was a rather moving chapter where she visits her elderly foster mother) and the 'crime mystery' didn't come to much. I assume Gale intended the identity of the culprit to be very obvious from an early stage because it was! Perhaps I demonstrate tremendous stupidity or ignorance here but I really did not understand what all that was about nor did I really 'get' the phantom pregnancy storyline which all seemed to come to nothing and was therefore rather pointless.
The Seth and Roly romance was touching in places and all too easy; Gale attempts to put obstacles in their path but these are none too convincing. A couple of the secondary characters are interesting and even touching (esp Bronwen) and despite her seemingly irrelevant storyline I liked the character of Venetia. The mother Evelyn was just a little too accepting and understanding to be entirely convincing.
For all that I was intrigued enough to keep page turning and as always, Gale's writing style is beautiful and his descriptions evocative and satisfying. A good read!