What was lost

I tried to get into the Per Olov Enquist book, The Story of Marie and Blanche. I gave up after only a couple of pages but I will try again. I seem to have much higher expectations of Scandinavian writers, as if they should all be a profound combination of Ibsen, Hamsun and Bergman, which is like expecting all British writers to be a combination of Shakespeare, Dickens and Ken Loach/Mike Leigh, which is quite ridiculous. Anyway, I am more than halfway through a Boooker longlist title, a debut novel by Catherine O'Flynn, published by the admirable Birmingham based Tindal Street. It was interesting for the first ten pages but then hit a boring patch in which much was repetitive. However, before I was half way through am now firmly into it. Based in and around Green Oaks, a shopping centre, I can feel the monotony and alienation of both centre workers and shoppers. The author has drawn strongly from her own experiences working in music stores and the lives and thoughts of Lisa and Kurt, a shop worker and centre security guard feel authentic.

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