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The Murderer by Roy A. K. Heath

The Murderer (1978)

by Roy A. K. Heath

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This is the story of Galton, a Guyanese man who grows up under the thumb of his repressive mother. He has always wanted to be like his older brother Selwyn, who escaped his mother's influence and leads a "normal" life, happily married with children and successful in business. Galton is not so fortunate. While ultimately he marries Gemma, he and Gemma live unhappily in a wharf-side tenement, occupied by seedy characters like "the Informant." The book records Galton's slow descent into paranoia and his eventual murder of his wife.

Heath is a Guyanese writer, and the novel is infused with a sense of place. Much of the dialogue is in Guyanese dialect (largely easily understandable). He has said that his work is "intended to be a dramatic chronicle of twentieth century Guyana." This novel won the Guardian Fiction Prize for 1978, and is included in the Modern Library: 200 Best Novels in English Since 1950 by Carmen Callil and Colm Toibin.

This is a good book, but I wasn't blown away.

3 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Jan 29, 2017 |
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