The Spirit of the Age: Murder, mystery, mayhem, metaphysics ... and mermaids (The Spirit Novels Book 1)
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The Spirit of the Age: Murder, mystery, mayhem, metaphysics ... and mermaids (The Spirit Novels Book 1)

by David Melville Edwards Publish: May 15, 2019Series: The Spirit NovelsCrime Fiction Mysteries Literary Fiction Humor Fantasy

The Spirit Novels complete series

Crime Fiction Mysteries Literary Fiction Humor Fantasy Poetry

BIOGRAPHY
How many readers will get past the first sentence, which starts "Chipboard base units run round two walls of the small, dark, kitchen ..."? Thereafter, the narrative shifts to an exposition of the glories of famously decaying multi-cultural Hounslow (possibly a homage to the Charles Dickens 'Fog' description in 'Bleak House') whose relationship to the rest of the novel only becomes clear in the penultimate chapter. The author's uncompromising pursuit of his artistic vision makes no concession to any notion of hooking the reader from the beginning.

This is not the only departure from accepted norms of novel writing. The author delights in alliteration, specifically contradicting readers' expectations as to the appearance of characters, and contrasting high-falutin' writing with clichés. If JRR Tolkien can inflict Tom Bombadil's execrable doggerel on readers of 'Lord of the Rings', David Melville Edwards has a license for similar, though in this case, there is less verse, and its execrability is clearly for comic effect.

But anyone who does give up will be missing out on a really good read. The characters are finely drawn and engaging, whilst the intricate plotting of the multiple story strands manages to find a plausible way through a succession of absurd, bizarre and sometimes comical situations. The treatment of magic is especially impressive, 'realist magical realism'. The writing is exuberant throughout.

In conclusion, the book addresses grand themes of identity, alienation, damnation, salvation and redemption without ever taking itself too seriously, and I cannot recommend it too highly. Five Stars.

Book Detail
Title The Spirit of the Age: Murder, mystery, mayhem, metaphysics ... and mermaids (The Spirit Novels Book 1)
Series The Spirit Novels
Author David Melville Edwards
ASIN B07RYZQZQW
Publish Date 15, May 2019
Language English
Page Count 409