The Town With No Twin, By Barry Pilton

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The Independent Culture

Glance at any page of Barry Pilton's novel and you'll experience the qualities that make him such a frustrating writer. Every other paragraph he writes something amusing; but he is also the kind of author who chuckles at fat people and women who don't subscribe to Glamour magazine-type grooming tips. Laugh at people like that and, as any hack humorist knows, a good chunk of the world usually laughs with you.

Set in Abernant, a fictional town in rural Wales, The Town With No Twin pits a host of charmless local characters against each other in a plot involving bitter local politics and declining newspaper sales. The delicatessen owner hates the butcher, a short man with delusions of grandeur who has succeeded him as president of the local chamber of commerce. The butcher's only regret is that he isn't mayor, a position already occupied by a woman who has commissioned a statue of a poet from a notorious drunk.

There's always a market for this kind of thing, and that's a pity.