Phoenix £7.99 (275pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Shape of Her, By Rowan Somerville
Friday 08 July 2011
Novelist and erotic memorist Monique Roffey rightly notes that few British male writers venture far into the bedroom these days, and when they do, ridicule swamps them. Somerville dared to breach this pitiable public schoolboys' taboo with this sweatily intense novel of a summer affair on a Greek island. Inevitably, it won the Bad Sex Award.
As Max and Tine's friendship flames into desire, their encounters sizzle and scorch. The author consciously overheats some passages, as thunderclouds from the past loom for both lovers.
They haul the memory of earlier shocks and wounds into their love-making – the core of a tale mixing clammy claustrophobia and soaring lyricism. Sniggering toffs may be appalled; grown-ups should take a different view.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West