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Mo Wasn't Kidding!
on 18 September 2016
mo said quite a lot, and helen overthought most of it! as she did with everything that entered her head, put there by the genius james kelman has for the minutiae of life! she worried about her situation, her family, people around her, even worried about things going well, should they cease to do so. this was almost fired into overload when she thought she caught sight of her long lost, and down and out, brother, and all the heartache connected with this piled on top of everything else. this brilliant novel followed her for the 24 hour period in which this occurred, her inner mind in turmoil as she functioned as an everyday mother, partner and worker.
it has been said that it is easy to forget that kelman's fiction is just that, absorbing and compelling as it is, and so entirely real. his connection to his characters transcends fiction to the level of being completely in tune with the reader's perceptions of the piece. it reads like an extension to very human situations. you don't just become helen's eyes, you feel the events from the depth of her thoughts. synced!
for some reason i didn't pick this up at the time, only doing so after reading the magnificent 'dirt road', but have read pretty much all of james kelman's fiction (it doesn't all pass muster, 'translated accounts' has proved to be beyond me). i would easily place him in the top three living authors on the planet for a number of reasons, not least because his work is ever expanding and refuses to remain within a perceived comfort zone (glasgow/scotland, about which he has produced some of the most sublime fiction). i honestly don't think that being scottish (which i am) is a pre-requisite to appreciate such an enormous talent!