Top positive review
Extraordinary imagery and themes
3 February 2016
This Booker Prize short listed book kept me spellbound from beginning to end. It is the story of a family that suffers an Aristotelian change in its fortunes. The story is told by a younger son who is observer and protagonist. The story is both confession and prophetic as the narrator intimates what is to come. The suspense is almost agonising.
Most of all, the book is an imaginative tour de force whereby the story unfolds through the imagery underpinning the narrative as the characters and events are tied into the natural world, the order and disorder that shapes the culture of the participants. It is a book about myth making, magic, life and death, belief, hope and fear but there is no magic realism here. It is grounded in the actuality of the day to day. It is both a small story of a small place and small people and a big story about human existence. It is a contemporary classic.