There is much hype about novels written by people on Creative Writing courses - what about those written by people who teach on them? Given that Paul Magrs teaches on one of the best in the country, you may expect his novels to be bursting at the seams with painfully clever writerly devices and knowing self-reflexiveness. Happily, they don't. Modern Love is intelligently written without shouting about it, warm without being heart-warming and full of interesting ideas without being another modern novel of ideas. His characters come to live with you for the duration because you believe in them totally. Very few of the new bright young things have this knack, and without it, their novels ring hollow. Modern Love rings true as a bell. Aspiring writers should not only do as he says, they should do as he does.
I had eagerly awaited the arrival of Paul Magrs' latest novel and was not disappointed. I have rarely encountered an author who can depict modern life so well. The characters in 'Modern Love' endear almost as much as those in his previous novel 'Could It Be Magic?', as Magrs continues to write in his unique way. A fine novel, the ending initially puzzled me, seeming quite abrupt, and left me wanting more simply because I had enjoyed the book so much.