Faber £12.99 (270pp) £11.69 (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 0870 079 8897
All Names Have Been Changed, By Claire Kilroy
Friday 05 June 2009
Following in the footsteps of Donna Tartt, Claire Kilroy's third novel is a campus drama rich in arcane references and enigmatic happenings. Set in 1980s Dublin, the novel revolves around a group of mature creative-writing students and their volatile relationship with their tutor, the literary giant PJ Glynn.
The book's narrator, Declan, is the only male member of the class. His four female compatriots - Aisling, Antoina, Guinevere and Faye - form a tightly knit group from which he is largely excluded. The most fully drawn character is PJ Glynn. By turns drunken, charming and tormented, Glynn proves an entertaining composite of the indulged and feted artist. From his self-consciously brief biographical notes ("He lives in Wicklow and Havana") to his polemics in the TLS, Glynn is portrayed as a man in a "perpetual swoon of fascination" with himself.
The novel is permeated by an impending sense of doom, even if the reader is generally unsure of where they are being led. Outside the drizzle never lets up; but inside the walls of Trinity, temperatures rise as the aspiring writers build up a catalogue of rivalries and resentments. As in her previous novels, Kilroy's scrutinises the nature of artistic endeavour and its demons. But in the end, it is the revelation of Glynn as a flesh and blood human being that pushes his acolytes over the edge. This impressive novel shows Kilroy perfectly at home in the literary firmament that she describes.
TV Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Jurassic World trailer: Chris Pratt stars in full-length trailer with Bryce Dallas and Ty Simpkins
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
Zoella: YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg's debut novel set to become bestseller
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police