This Party's Got to Stop, By Rupert Thomson

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The Independent Culture

From the first page of this memoir, as a young boy hears the voice of his soon-to-die mother, we enter that zone of eerie clarity allied to soul-deep doubt that all readers of Thomson's fiction will know.

More than two decades later, after his father's death, Thomson re-joined his brothers for a weird summer of grief, rivalry and twisted love - "a last wild farewell" - in the family house in Eastbourne.

Off the rails, out of order, the siblings act with a fairy-tale logic that teeters on the edge of mania. Thomson seeks to fit his past together and to grasp how loss has smashed it: "Life was as flimsy as the model planes I used to buy, all balsa wood and rubber bands."

This outstanding novelist has managed to craft an autobiography that equals his fiction in its sinister glamour.