Tuesday, November 22, 2011


An extract from review HERE

Egnaro – M. John Harrison

“…but is it possible that the real pattern of life is not in the least apparent, but rather lurks beneath the surface of things, half hidden and only apparent in certain rare lights, and then only to the prepared eye?”

Egnaro or Aleph (or gestalt)? This story would surely be an all-time classic story in whichever book of genre it is couched. From “Corrie” to “Crossroads”, from this book’s Peake to Merritt, herein mentioned, as is (now) the all-consuming Cowper Powys – and the “dead miners” from the Shea story - we have here the Mancunian Man – a pervasive rubbing-along philosophy of flock-wallpapered Chinese restaurants and rust-edged SF books and frontier-cultures in behind-the-counter books in bookshops that fight with and alongside the Accountant Narrator’s version of ’quantitative easing’. But Egnaro, the elongated ‘gnole’ giving a clue as to its nature (wasn’t one of this colour earlier in the Sandkings-edifice?). A world that Leman set up earlier in this book as the Whovian nostalgia-tableau or un-sat-navved, non-GPS-ed country. But it is the Bradbury ‘crowd’ that turns up when the future finally reaches its accident with the past, its interface with nostalgia as a Proustian Egnaro. A “transparent membrane” that is not the Hell Screen but the wrapping from this book’s Francis Stevens story. But the durable soul always remains the durable soul (and I count myself as one of those), even if it’s just ‘fast food’ or forgotten fiction as mine is. A desperately sad, yet uplifting, masterpiece. “He’s spent his life exploiting their fantasies to subsidize his own.” (22/11/11 – another 3 hours later)

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