Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Chew a raw elephant

This is how a female character is described in Simon Raven's Fielding Gray: 'Angela. A real dish, breasts prominent but not outrageous, teeth sound enough to chew a raw elephant.'  The protagonist, who sees Angela thus, is at public school, so the gaucheness might be excusable. Or maybe not.  Fielding has an affair with a fellow schoolboy, who is later arrested for cottaging and kills himself.  Fielding's father dies 'straining in Angela's vampire embrace.' Sex, for Raven, is fucked-up.  It's all gnashing and intense and dripping with a kind of transferred self-pity that is rather unpleasant to read about.  I don't recommend it.

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