9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You,
This review is from: This Isn't The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You (Hardcover)
Between the covers of this book of short stories you will encounter everything from the sublime to the totally ridiculous."In Winter in the Sky" is a good example of both.It is a beautifully written and well constructed story of the developing relationship between a male and female.The former carries a very heavy secret from the night of their first date.McGregor devotes every second page to the rather crude drafts of the main lady,an aspiring writer.This is where you begin to realize that the author sometimes prioritizes art and the desire to be different over reader interest.
"Supplementary Notes to the Testimony of Appellants A & B" reads like a tedious report written in a police station. It is very much out of sync with the subtle creativity of most of the collection. "The Remains" ends with the words,"Have Yet to Be Found" repeated over and over for almost two pages. The final story, "Memorial Stone" comprises four pages of placenames! Perhaps I'm missing something very deep. Somebody please enlighten me if I am.
That's the rant off my chest.Any lover of creative,mood-setting,different(!) writing will revel in this book. the author has a wonderful ability the create a sense of place as well as a sense of a person.You will be smitten with all the emotions. "We Wave and Call" will stay with you for a long time for its ingenious build up to a devastating ending.
The book should have ended with "I'll Buy You a Shovel". Two travelling labourers in a caravan,with an upmarket wedding reception going on nearby will give you moments of great pathos and of great hilarity.
The sublime certainly outweighs the ridiculous.
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Initial post: 18 Jan 2013 23:33:18 GMT
thankyou. that is a particularly helpful review. I'm a fairly devoted Jon Mcgregor fan ("Even the Dogs" is the best novel I've read, and I was devastated when he cancelled at the Edinburgh book festival last year) but was a bit dismayed by the writing drafts in "In Winter in the Sky", and found it hard to go back to. With your encouragement, I'll keep going, despite the pieces of art that go over my head. Thankyou!
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