Wednesday, 6 February 2013

We Are Glass


This is not a book review. But a paragraph of immediate thoughts from a window ledge about a new book I have just read by a literary menace. My appreciation of Birmingham has always been a visit for football. I have been witness to more than a few violently disturbing experiences at games in that city; notably Birmingham City away rather than Villa, West Brom or Walsall. But if I was expecting any relief from grief then there was no escape here. 17 dark stories shed little light. But to sidestep the darkness would mean that you miss the careful considered poetry of u v ray. And that is the books hold. A book of fiction that's laced with poetic love and poetic bitterness fighting in the gutter come closing time but ultimately rises from the whiskey glass and the mundane of everyday to want to blow a gunshot into the fuckface of indifference. All in the name of love. To illustrate this, 'The Rag and Bone Man' has Joe facing a bone right in his face. Joe, considering his sorry life, had perhaps every right to turn savage in such a confrontation of man v man (but not perhaps how you might envisage). The fact he doesn't sums up the books shadow of humanity perfectly. Reading We Are Glass might make you think that this is a writer imploding. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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