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Death and the Seaside
Alison Moore

I can’t possibly review this book, as I am yet to finish it.  However, it is a very stimulating novel and I want to get a few thoughts down about it, while I have the time…

If you’ve read this blog, then it will be no secret to you that I’m not a fan of modern life, and this novel highlights one of the things I hate about being alive in the 21st Century: everything is so bloody clever nowadays.

This is a very clever novel: it is full of literary references, packed with nods to Behaviourism, semiotics and postmodern theory.  It has a story within a story – Bonnie writes Susan into being and the fictional character, Susan, is very much like the fictional character, Bonnie, who created her.  Only, they were both created by Alison Moore, who perhaps bears no resemblance to either of them.  So this in itself is a reference to The Death of the Author, an essay by Roland Barthes.  Can you see how clever it all is?

And yet… it is really badly written – full of horrible similes and clumsy chapter endings.  But it can’t really be badly written, can it?  Even this is Alison Moore being clever.

In the same way that Les Dawson must have been an excellent pianist to play the piano so badly; Alison Moore must be a very good writer, who knows exactly what she’s doing.

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