Thursday, August 27, 2009

Allan Guthrie's Savage Night

Allan Guthrie's Savage Night (2008) is not an easy feat. It's not entertainment, even though it's wildly funny, in a way you just can't anticipate.

I'm sure there are people who find it unethical to laugh at people who hack off other people's limbs and heads, but that's only choice Guthrie's characters have given the circumstances they live in. Guthrie moves the tragedy of a Jacobean plays (i.e. John Webster's The White Devil from 1612) to the underbelly of Scottish lower-to-middle-class and their everyday struggle. This is no social realism, though, more like hyper-realism. Guthrie's characters are always convincing, that must be said.

The prose it's so sparse and hard I had first trouble getting into Guthrie's writing and its rhythm. Guthrie doesn't make it easy for the reader to get into the flow, even though the events described make you turn the pages feverishly. There's almost an experimental quality to Guthrie's writing (and I want to remind I compared Guthrie to Vladimir Nabokov when I was reading Hard Man).

1 comment:

Paul D Brazill said...

I found it hard going for the fisrt few pages but really got into it. Loved it. Looking foward to SLAMMER.