This is Neate’s fifth novel,and his most accomplished in my opinion ,a many head story that moves back forward in time and across the world ,a study in what we are as English people where we ve come from and where we re going .Neate is a wonderful storyteller seamlessly weaving the stories together like a master weaver ,interweaving the strands of the story ,Neate performing tales comes through as the founder of bookslam ,you can imagine section of this book being read aloud .

 The story itself is three tales from present and past set in England ,South aArica and a make-believe african state ,the two stories in africa are separate by a century the first set in Boer war following a solider involved ,the later story set in a African state similar to some of the dictatorship in the recent past and present-day ,it involves the imprisonment of an english man as he falls foul of the whims of said dictator ,i feel these show the changing view of how we perceive ourselves and the african perceive us now and then it shows how the our place in the world has changed .the third story follows Preston a entrepreneur a child of Thatcher and Blair an urban music fan and label owner like a modern-day Anthony h Wilson it follows his rise and shows what happens when you reach the top when he becomes embroiled in a scandal over the song Jerusalem .elsewhere we encounter the quaint side of english culture with bushy and morris men .

“what’s this ? Preston asked . I think its Jerusalem ,innit ? I know that i mean what is it ? who is it ? Errol checked his i-phone .He shrugged .geezer calls himself nobody . Preston leant forward and started to nod to the music as the vocal dissolved in to mc’s rhymes .he took off his sunglasses . he said track him down , would you ? Errol said sure ,tubbs

have you read Patrick Neate ,have you a favourite ?

do you like books with intertwined stories ?


February 2010


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