RARA-AVIS: British Noir--Charles Higson

From: Joy Matkowski ( jmatkowski1@comcast.net)
Date: 25 Jul 2002

All the time I was reading _King of the Ants,_ I didn't much like it, and at times I actively disliked it. The protagonist is a sort of English slacker; there's enough of a back history to show he comes from a pleasant middle-class family and went to college for a while, but not enough background to explain why he has no contact with his family or the middle class today. He does describe a Bad Seed episode in considerable detail--ick!
    Sean Crawley's bare-bones lifestyle is described in an interesting way, though--his work or lack thereof, his friends or lack thereof, his future or lack thereof, his bicycle. He knows great things await him, but he knows not what. To him, his raison d'etre seems to be unfolding when he is approached to do some private investigator work--follow a local government official and write down everything he does and everywhere he goes. Things happen: horrendous things, hilarious things, appalling things.
    In the end, I was surprised to discover that I liked the book. Part of my liking is the satisfying denouement, and part is the relentless portrayal of a not very sympathetic character that overall rings so true. I'll look for something else by Higson when I've made some progress on this stack of BritNoir. Does anyone know if Sean Crawley is a continuing character?
    Next up, Christopher Brookmyre's _Quite Early One Morning._

Joy, who thanks all of you who offered reading list suggestions

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