Granta £8.99 (263pp) £8.49 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
This Party's Got to Stop, By Rupert Thomson
Friday 20 May 2011
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.
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