2 comments

  1. You’ve got me wondering about The Sea, The Sea, now – have I missed the whole point? Are all those other characters figments of Charles Arrowby’s imagination? I think I’d prefer the novel that way. The novel under review sounds excellent, in any case.

    1. As the comment above is the same as the one left on the Guardian site below my review, I’ll copy the response I made there:

      No, not at all, though I hope I’m not alone in thinking Arrowby in The Sea, The Sea to be more than a little detached from reality. That, plus there is stuff in Burnt Island which reminded me of Arrowby’s hazardous swimming expeditions. I do think the links to other books I mentioned are probably intended by Thompson: certainly the elements that made me think of The Shining are pretty unmistakeable; and the description of Burnt Island itself sounded to me very like a (slightly) more hospitable version of the rock on which Golding’s Pincher Martin is stranded, even to its location. Similarly, if you’ve read Pincher Martin, you’ll know that it too has a narrative where reality is not clear-cut.

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