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The Crack Magazine

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Lord Jim at Home by Dinah Brooke

‘Lord Jim at Home’ was first published 50 years ago with reviewers variously labelling it “squalid and startling” and “nastily horrific”. This new edition carries a foreword by Ottessa Moshfegh – an author not averse to the squalid or the startling – who confesses it took her about three weeks to make it through the first seventy-five pages. (“I kept having to put the book down and get up and look around.”) A fable-like tale, ‘Lord Jim…’ tells the story of Giles Trenchard who, while growing up in absolute privilege, is denied love. When older, he goes to war and on return carries out an act that tips over the whole apple-cart of his life. The novel carries some of Muriel Spark’s decidedly skew-whiff oddness and dark and twisted humour, but the flat narrative left me unengaged and, rather like Moshfegh, I struggled to get through it – but for entirely different reasons. RM

Daunt Books

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