“If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things”

Extraordinary. Jon McGregor’s “If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things” is a little bit like watching someone gradually pull an elastic band harder and harder. You know at some point it will snap, but all you can do is watch and feel the tension increase. When it does finally break, the relief is almost palpable.

In many respects, “Remarkable Things” shares a great deal with his “Reservoir 13”, particularly with this build of tension, and the unnerving feeling that, while little seems to be going on really, just about everything is. The tension was not resolved in a satisfactory manner for me in “13”, but in “Remarkable Things” it surely is – and not once, but twice.

McGregor’s characters are flawed, and normal, and human. There is nothing unrealistic about them, and the drum beat of the novel – set by both form and content – only heightens to build the tension.

This won’t be for everyone, and some people will struggle with the style – but I thought it was rather good.

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