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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

"Corpsing" by Toby Litt

Protagonist-narrator Conrad goes for a meal with his ex-girlfriend, advert-actress Lily. Half-way through a hitman arrives and murders Lily. Conrad is shot three times but survives.

Six months later, after a coma and therapy, Conrad decides to investigate and exact revenge. 

More thriller than whodunnit (there really aren't a lot of suspects and the few clues dropped along the way are fairly obvious), what makes this book exceptional is the six chapters interspersed into the text that trace the passage of each bullet in intimate ballistic and anatomical detail. These are brilliant pieces of writing. 

It is also quite realistic as to how a fairly ordinary bloke might blunder around trying to sleuth and buy a gun and wonderfully realistic about the effects of grief and trauma.

There are some good lines:
  • I just came along to animate the suit.” (p 3)
  • mainstream- kinky” (p 5)
  • If you want something that looks exactly like spunk, use shampoo” (p 7)
  • It felt as if I had popped up into the world like ... a flayed man, peeled of all protection, experiencing breeze as hurricane, cough as cataclysm, smell as orgasm (if nice) or disembowelment (if nasty), touch as torture.” (p 25) 
  • She was turning her environment into one vast sea-anenome-type-labia-fest - frills and pink prettiness.” (p 180)
  • The symptoms of imminent death was there for all to behold: pallor, clamminess, dilated pupils, lack of sensitivity to pain.” (p 190)
  • I could hear her distress hissing - like tears falling into a deep-fat fryer.” (p 224)

November 2017; 373 pages

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