Publisher: Titan Books
In December last year I read The Secret History - Yes I haven't reviewed it yet, yes I'm getting that bad. But I finished this book this morning and felt the need to review it, and I bring up TSH as, as the press release says, there are touches of it in this book, and if I'm honest I would maybe go so far to say that this feels like a less dense version of TSH.
We meet Oliver as he's being released from prison for murder and we're going with him and a retired cop to retell the story of why he's there. We are going to watch it, relive it, experience it. We're in an arts college and these kids are leading the life I would have liked to have led if I hadn't have been told come back in 1 year when I auditioned for a post grad music course and then went to work in publishing where I then resided for 8 years before I moved to where I am now. But, the life if maybe a bit darker and full of a bit of horror, and that bit I am not jealous of.
I was absorbed from the very start by the writing style if nothing else. Thoroughly loved the nod to a layout like a play, the scenes, the acts, the way dialogue was written. I also loved how we had scenes, dialogue etc from the plays they perform in the novel too. MLR knows her Willy Shakes obviously as the plays and scenes and passages chose to include and recreate reflect perfectly what's happening in the story and seemingly in the minds of characters.
The characters were fantastic also. The fourth years, I just don't know if I loved or hated them, I think I did all at one point and their little world was so fascinating. For Oliver, I kept picturing Boy Geek's cousin as he's in a small private drama school, and I'm not sure tbh if he will be flattered or offended when he reads this.
Defos enjoyed this book, will be recommending it around.