Top positive review
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An little known gem
on 26 September 2008
For any novel, but especially for a first novel, this is an extraordinary achievement. Dealing in history, human frailty, the lenses of memory and self deception, the sources of identity and belonging: this is a brief epic which is never grandiose, and always close to human experience.
The inner world of the narrator is so pitch perfect it hurts. You can feel him growing, and the people around him too. Each and every personality in it is startlingly realised. The narrative forces its way on, covering a great emotional range. The style is impeccable - restrained, precise and beautiful or harsh and the situation demands.
I suppose that no one reading this review will believe quite how good The Shadow Lines is - and apparently his other books don't quite reach the same standard. This, however, is a great, neglected work of modern literature.