Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Hawthorn & Child - Keith Ridgway
I am not sure why some people imagine that gratuitous sex and violence is gritty and modern. Sex, as out ancestors will confirm, did not begin in the '60s, nor was it the brainchild of D.H.Lawrence. Violence too is not that new; and it is not long since public executions - sudden or protracted - would have provided death for the pleasure of large, public gatherings. Sex and violence, nonetheless - along with seemingly unnecessary obscurity - seem to be the hallmark of Keith Ridgway's Hawthorn & Child. I don't object to either - sex and violence sometimes suit the plot; it felt, however, that Ridgway was 'grittying up' an otherwise pleasant novel when their spontaneous introduction arrived; I am moving on to Michael Ende's Momo. Having said that accolades from Ian Rankin, the Observer, the Irish Examiner and Zadie Smith all attest to Hawthorn & Child's quality; so, if you have different tastes to me, you may well enjoy the book.