Paperback review: This Isn't The Sort Of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You, By Jon McGregor


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The Independent Culture

Last year, Jon McGregor won one of the richest literary prizes, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, which hopefully brought him to wider recognition (and gave his bank balance a boost).

Being the kind of writer that bigger publishers today seem less reluctant to invest in – quiet, clever, with a focus on the mundane and everyday – that award should have secured him for a good few years yet, and more of us can marvel at the way he drops in on his characters' lives, rendering epiphanic the moment a women receives a bunch of tulips from an admirer, the moment a car turns a corner, or breaks down. Anchored in the Norfolk landscape as this collection is, nature is always present and water is as much a threat as it is life-giving or a pleasure: drowning, flooding, fishing all feature heavily in these incisive yet gently inspiring stories.