Friday, 27 April 2012

Funderland ~ Nigel Jarrett

The title story of this collection is not for anyone who is nervous at the fairground. 'Funderland' sees Dale recalling a roller coaster accident with devastating clarity. He remembers how the car 'became wedged, somehow pinned by gravity into a corner from where he could see Johnny and Rose plummeting like rag dolls to their deaths.' It's a striking opening to a sensitive and revealing collection. In 'A Point of Dishonour' the narrator visits a writer, Kramer, who has written a book about soldiers that were court-martialled and shot in the Great War. The narrator's grandfather features in the book and she brings with her a newspaper clipping that shows her grandfather in a new and disturbing light. It is a subtle story in which what isn't said is important. Kramer hands the newspaper clipping back and becomes kurt, '...as if I had deliberately tried to embarrass him, and he twice looked at his watch without saying anything about soon having to attend to something else.' In 'Ornithology' depression is linked to the disappearance of birds as a woman misses their 'madness in the air.' Jarrett's writing is varied and musical.

Read a review of Funderland here.
Read an interview with Nigel Jarrett here.

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