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Books Editorial

strangercity19.jpg Stranger City
 

Linda Grant, Virago

Linda Grant won the Orange Prize in 2000 and was shortlisted for the Booker in 2008. Strange then that she should publish a book as shoddy as this. The story begins with the body of an unknown woman who has been fished out of the Thames and is receiving a burial in an unmarked grave. Trying to unpick the mystery is a policeman, a nurse and a documentary filmmaker. The novel purports to be about home – as an idea and a physical place – and the things that connect us, but it is fatally undermined by some of the most shocking editing I’ve ever seen in a mainstream publication. The amount of clumsy sentences it contains pile up like uncollected rubbish and many of them are just nonsense. Chapter 5 begins: “Way back in the summer when she lived a different life from the one she’s living now, and still it pops up randomly on Twitter and the whole thing starts all over again, because people don’t check, do they?” Answers on a postcard.