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Books Editorial

kudosbook.jpg Kudos

Rachel Cusk, Faber & Faber

Kudos is the final novel in a trilogy that began with Faye, a divorced, middle-aged author, moving to Athens for a summer to teach a writing course. In the second book we caught up with her trying to make a life for herself in London, while in this final volume she’s off to a literary festival somewhere in southern Europe. Each of the books sees Faye engaging in lengthy conversations with the people she meets – usually strangers – who are not shy when it comes to unburdening themselves with intimate details of their lives. The reader, however, learns very little of Faye herself (her name is only mentioned in the narrative once per book) with the conversations being very one-sided. This final part is the least successful of the three, with too many of the people she encounters, from journalists to tour guides, having indistinguishable voices – with their philosophising, at times, akin to wading through concrete – but the author’s sardonic humour remains intact and, taken as a whole, this remains a truly novel trilogy of real verve.