Paperback review: National Treasures, By Charles McLeod
Little nuggets of brutality, tenderness and isolation
Saturday 16 March 2013
National Treasures collects Charles McLeod's tales of misfits and oddballs in small-town America.
In "The State Bird of Minnesota" a reclusive anarchist fashions bombs from fragments of animal bone; in "Individualized Altimetry of Stripes" a clan of tattooists is forced apart by violence and infidelity; in the title piece a peripatetic loner recalls his stint in a white supremacist gang called "Lone Wolf".
McLeod delights in wrong-footing the reader, oscillating between tenderness and brutality, banality and the grotesque, often during the course of a single sentence. Reading these stories is like riding a rollercoaster in the dark: both exhilarating and unsettling at the same time.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Coolio has sold his soul to Pornhub
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians