NIGHT WORK by Bernard MacLaverty


This is a great story to add to the field of literature whereon I regularly work and take due cast of. And those who have followed and acted upon my reviews from the beginning should note this fact, i.e. that I am adding a new writer to the canon of the gestalt. MacLaverty, MacLaverty. The ‘outwardly respectable.’ A missing link.

A seriously creepy story with a positive kick in its tail. Giving a meaning to death and fame, “Everybody says he was a man of immense importance. To the whole wide world. But to me he was…’ She didn’t finish her sentence, or else she was crying again.”

But this is a story about a different woman; she assists or understudies a sculptor who took her under her wing, and one day he sends a boy out at night to fetch her to a job he can’t do because he had dropped a gas canister on his foot.

Immaculately described, and we spend much time working out the nature of her mission. Via mountains of books, ‘ewer’ within ‘newspapers’ — forming a ‘pale cowpat’ with ‘elbow’, for me, cast as letters within it. An ‘impossible’ cast of an arm, or of a body’s more secret shrine, and casual sex affairs. “Had this man’s soul gone yet?” I specially relished reading this major story for my canon of reviews, but I have left bits of it unmoulded, for fear of spoiling it. But I have a perfectly detailed review written out just to keep for myself (a thing I rarely do) — needing to use it later.

“‘But I suppose he is beyond harm.’ The woman of the house began to cry. Lily reached out and touched her elbow. The woman seemed grateful for the gesture and nodded her thanks.”


My other reviews of B MacL:

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