07 January 2013

Dan Rhodes and Alan Warner

Dan Rhodes' This is Life is apparently 

an enchanted Parisian adventure [Goodreads]


Toby Clements is tickled by the absurdities of Dan Rhodes' This is Life.

and it has

another delightful cast of characters [though] their Parisian escapades are frustratingly far-fetched [Edward Docx in the Guardian]


The darkness in Dan Rhodes's novels has given way to something lighter. [Michael Holroyd in The Guardian]

but it's also surely a veiled manifesto and some kind of Jeremiad at the nicely nicely state of art:

One of the characters, overhearing her fellow art students pontificating about their work, "had never been able to work out what this kind of talk had to do with anything. It seemed designed only for the artists to elevate themselves into positions of intellectual unassailability before they had even taken the time to put brush to canvas." And another, a fully fledged, globally famous artist guards the secret of his elaborate exhibitions of self: "Only he knew [the truth] though, and he was well aware that if the truth ever got out it would all be over, because there is nothing that angers the custodians of the art world more than simple feelings expressed in a straightforward manner."

Am I imagining it, or is there a gritting of the teeth in his and Alan Warner's recent outings in primary colours? (Warner's shift from writing books like Morvern Callar to books with front covers like this

in itself seems like some kind of fuck this.) Where they are headed, though, the best of themselves tucked away in inside heart pockets, who knows.

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