Quercus £7.99 (482pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Muse, By Susan Irvine
Friday 24 July 2009
Susan Irvine's wild and wicked novel of a young fashionista and her cross-Channel adventures in style, sex and anomie comes on hot and strong, like some bloated mutant offspring of Anaïs Nin and Bridget Jones.
Wasted and wayward, Naomi goes to decadent Paree for her first big shoot and enjoys being a very naughty girl. Back in boring Blighty, the thrills and risks accumulate.
Irvine traces her boho odyssey down into the dark, while rough-trade "7 Eleven" and obsessed poète maudit Eric struggle for her soul.
Muse is far too long, and shares too much of its heroine's narcissism, but the stinging, stirring brio of the language makes this a debut to savour in small but fierce class-A doses.
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