Ever since I read Graham Swift’s wonderful “Waterland” I’ve been completely hooked; his writing is something I can always reliably turn to. There are a few authors in that bracket for me – Murakami certainly, Julian Barnes, Donna Tartt, Swift himself – with a few others ‘coming up on the rails’: Ishiguro, Ali Smith, McEwan. [Check out Reading]
“Here We Are” isn’t in the same league as “Waterland” (how could it be?!) but it’s readable, rattling along at a good pace; and a little like the recently read “On Chesil Beach”, Swift makes a novel out of what might be considered a ‘simple’ event.
There’s a degree of multiplication in “Here We Are” I though was slightly over-done at times, a persistent nailing of a point (the quality of Ronnie’s eyes or some events repeatedly referred to like glimpsing them again and again as if in the fragments of a broken mirror). Yet maybe that’s the idea, to make you regard those elements in that way because that’s how we replay the past in our own minds.
Bizarrely, “Here We Are” is almost begging for a sequel (you’ll have to read it to find out why!) which is surely unusual; a lose end that begs to be tied-up – once you’ve got over the disappointment of it being there in the first place.
Or then again, perhaps it’s entirely apt, considering…..