librerialondonThe Burning Ground - Adam O’Riordan
His poems from ‘In the Flesh’ enchanted and disturbed us, and so do these taught and atmospheric stories that play with the ideas and landscapes of Los Angeles. Adam Foulds (whose novel The Quickening Maze was one of our favourite reads) shows O’Riordan’s mastery of context and form: “An epigraph from Christopher Isherwood indicates the kind of place O’Riordan’s LA will be: ‘Don’t cry to me for safety. There is no home here … Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.’ The first story, ‘A Thunderstorm in Santa Monica’, neatly follows from this warning of homelessness. Harvey, a young British man, is spending more money than he should on flights to the city to pursue a love affair with the older, more successful Teresa. On this occasion, Teresa has had to go to New York on business and Harvey is left to his own devices. Turbulence on the flight over, Harvey’s enforced, dislocated solitude and an approaching storm together accumulate an uncomfortable atmosphere of diffuse threat and depleting emptiness in sumptuous surroundings (surely one of LA’s signature experiences). [...] When it works well, the stories linger in the mind as strong impressions, simultaneously complete and unresolved. When less convincing, the stories feel anecdotal and limited by their avoidance of direct confrontation. Still, you are never in doubt that you are reading the work of an elegant and greatly accomplished writer whose future promises much.” Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/2ljeSgo
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