REVIEW:”KING OF THE BADGERS”(HENSHER). BY STEVEN BENSON

What an odd book!I so much wanted to like it; the author integrates openly gay characters within a small town community(except for one Neighbourhood Watch freak homophobe); thats something for a start. And, in theory,  I quite like the “loose baggy monsteriness” of it; trying to encompasss social commentary, humour, gay and straight:– and—- an abduction story, which is wholly unintegrated and doesnt even act to bring this odd community together. There are some moments of poetry, for instance the Wolf cliff scenes and the mysterious opening ,with the enigmatic, Charonic boatman and his equally mysterious human cargo, who I presumed was the abductor. And, of course, I enjoyed the gay orgy!!!!!!!!!!The characters of the calculating Mauro and his poignantly-painted “boyfriend” David were effective too. But overall,it all seemed a rather specious attempt at connecting unconnectable strands, and not in a “postmodern” contrapuntallly successful way either. I quite like Edmund White’s “loose baggy monsters”(“Farewell Symphony”)but I think, overall, White’s characters have more emotional depth. But I still think Hensher was brave to try and write a novel with this vast social compass

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About decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)
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