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Sweet Gum by Jo-Anne Goodwin
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Sweet Gum

by Jo-Anne Goodwin

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A very odd book. Certainly very compelling and intelligent, but I finished it and really had no clear sense of what the author's point was, apart from to provide a vivid and interesting look at a particular slice of London's culture. The book criticises our love for scandal and murder, yet the book is about scandal and murder, and that's why we like it, why we keep reading it. The characters are vivid and unsettling, yet it's not much of a whodunnit as we can guess a long way before the end. IThe eding itself seems to be some kind of sick joke, but it also seems like a terrible cop-out. I suppose it's supposed to tell us something about our own natures, that the ADHD kid in the book, described and depicted like a monster, actually turns out to be a monster. You just can't help some people, or something. And all the hero's problems work out, after a seemingly unrelated subplot about a poisonous bitch telling lies about him. No motive is ever discovered, in fact we never meet her again. You can't help her, either.
As a slice of life it is brutal and compelling - and of course a lot of life doesn't have any kind of truck with closure or motives, so I could let her off. It just seemed to kind of fritter out, like she'd run out of ideas...
In conclusion, a lot of fun, but left me a little cold... ( )
  Acclaimed_Cone | Apr 1, 2007 |
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Eugene Burnside knows his punters, his suppliers and when to draw the line. But he knows too that to get on in this world, you've got to get to know the right people - and that's when things can go horribly wrong. Originally published: London: Bantam, 2006.… (more)

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