Bedford Park by Bryan Appleyard

I enjoy and admire the articles I have read by Bryan Appleyard, so was very pleased to see this new novel by him out last year. His usual preoccupations (architecture and popular science) provide an interesting basis for it. A number of real, historical, people wander through it, playing supporting roles. But what, oh what, is it all about? There is a rite of passage (which lasts an entire adult life). There is a foreigner’s-eye view of London in general and the, apparently real, suburb of Bedford Park in particular. There is a violent death. There is some sex and a little love (not hand in hand). And there is an epilogue which cries out to be a prologue. I have to say I found it to be plot-free. This is unfortunate, as I do like a novel to have a plot. I know there are many readers of fiction for whom plot is inessential. To you I recommend this book.



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