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John Cromer - man-boy extraordinary.,
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This review is from: Cedilla (Paperback)
It is quite inexplicable that Adam Mars-Jones is a name not shouted from the roof-tops of the literary establishment. Has there ever been a more convincing narrational voice than that of John Cromer? I certainly can't think of one.
"There's so much poignancy in the state of trying to be a man, nothing remotely comparable about being one." And especially THIS man. Severely physically handicapped, mentally sharp as a tack, pedantic, infuriating, indomitable, endearing, a homosexual, a Buddhist...and piercingly funny. Here's a flavour of his humour: "I reached the point where I really didn't see how I could hold out much longer. I prayed for help - help sooner rather than later. Sri Bhagavan was the shape divinity took in my mind, but as I was back in England now, worse luck, it seemed a good idea to hedge my bets, so I prayed to my old friend Jesus Christ, and to God the Father as well. I didn't forget to add a dash of Allah to the cocktail of divine appeal. Desperation is a strongly oecumenical force."
You will have to read Pilcrow first. As other reviewers have commented, if you've read it and didn't like it, then you won't like Cedilla. But if that's the case, then it's highly unlikely you'll be bothering with this review. If you loved Pilcrow (and I don't think there's much middle ground here) you'll be reading Cedilla anyway and won't have need of any review.
This leaves me little to say that can be of value to the prospective reader other than the fact that Adam Mars-Jones's writing is staggeringly good and to urge you to catch up with Pilcrow. As regards Cedilla, I can't really put it any better than S.Kemp's eloquent review. So I would also urge you to read that to get a true flavour of this second instalment of the life and times of the extraordinary creation that is John Cromer.