Monday, December 12, 2016
Serious Sweet / A.L. Kennedy, 479 p.
This is a perfectly decent novel that needed a good editor to cut it in half.
That is, it would have been a perfectly decent novel. Uncut, not so much. Set in contemporary London in one 24-hour period, this is the story of Jon, a civil servant on the verge of throwing away his career, and Meg, a shakily recovered alcoholic and bankrupt accountant. The initial promise of the writing - the novel opens with a charming and witty scene in which Jon extracts a trapped bird in his house and struggles to deal with his subsequently dirtied clothing, all while late for an appointment - gives way to repetitive introspection that is fascinating in bits but exhausting as a whole.
Long-listed for the Man Booker. Hunh.