Caret – Adam Mars-Jones
‘We make lazy assumptions about the centre of things and its location. Who’s to say that the centre of things isn’t in a corner, way over there?’
‘People in authority are always saying you should know your rights, though I’ve noticed they don’t much enjoy it when you do.’
‘Nobody can be a person twenty-fours hours a day – it just can’t be done. At night the sets dissolve and the performance falls away. We’re off the books.’
That’s John Cromer talking, in this fresh instalment of his lifelong saga. For John, embarking on a new stage of life in 1970s Cambridge, charm and wit aren’t just assets, they are survival skills. It may be a case of John against the world.
If so, don’t be in too much of a hurry to bet on the world. Conjuring a remarkable voice and mind, Caret is a feast of a novel, served on a succession of small plates, each portion providing an adult’s daily intake of literary nourishment. Reading it – like any encounter with John Cromer — is guaranteed to help you work, rest and play.
‘Thank god for John Cromer and his creator Adam Mars-Jones, one of the funniest, most self-aware characters in English fiction, whose minute observations on everything from constipation to lust are a source of unexpected delight.’ Linda Grant