Victory by James Lasdun review – two powerful novellas   Leave a comment

James Lasdun.

In the afterword to his four-story collection Different Seasons, Stephen King describes the heart-sinking moment when you realise that what you’ve written is a novella. He compares the form to “an anarchy-ridden literary banana republic” where no one in their right mind would want to end up. Fiction between 20,000 and 40,000 words long does seem to be the least appetising prospect of all for publishers. That’s a pity, of course. Give me great bantamweight work any day – think of Heart of Darkness, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Animal Farm – with its extraordinary power-to-size ratio, rather than the grandiose bloat of an interminable saga.

James Lasdun’s new book is actually two novellas, Feathered Glory and Afternoon of a Faun, and the headline act is clearly the second tale. Both explore uncomfortable corners of the male psyche with eerie clarity, but Afternoon of a Faun goes darker and further, with a timely and irresistibly unpleasant story that is sure to provoke passionate discussion…

Read the full article in The Guardian

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Posted February 21, 2019 by Peter Mathews in Uncategorized

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